TRIPping Constructivism
PS: Political Science & Politics

Ayse Zarakol | January 2017

TRIPping Constructivism

The Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) surveys have become the authoritative source for making sense of the discipline of international relations (IR) as a global field of practice. At relatively regular intervals they provide snapshots of the discipline based on the self-reporting of IR scholars from 20 countries around the world. The TRIP project also includes assessments from “a new journal article database that includes every article published in the field’s 12 leading journals” (Maliniak, Oakes, Peterson and Tierney 2011, 438). That the TRIP project has thus filled a significant void by providing very useful sociological information about the discipline is indisputable. In this brief symposium article, however, I want to highlight some more critical insights that emerge from the TRIP project in the hopes of generating a productive conversation about how the surveys should be understood.

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Keeping Up with the Times: How the Discipline of International Relations Responds to Benchmark Events
International Studies Perspectives

Matthew Ribar | August 2016

Reaching Beyond the Ivory Tower

This article examines how the discipline of international relations (IR) engages with the policy process by investigating the discipline’s responsiveness to world events. To this end, the article deploys a mixed-methods approach using historical data of journal articles in twelve top IR journals covering 1980 to 2012 from the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project as well as a series of interviews with scholars to show how four major world events, or benchmark events, influence the discipline of international relations. The paper finds that benchmark events do cause a shift in the subject areas in which IR scholars publish, as well as a shift in the popularity of theoretical approaches in which scholars ground their research. Benchmark events do not, however, cause a significant shift in where in the world IR scholars study. A series of elite interviews with IR professors is used to elaborate a causal mechanism for these correlations.

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The IR of the Beholder: Examining Global IR Using the 2014 TRIP Survey
International Studies Review

Wiebke Wemheuer-Vogelaar, Nicholas J. Bell, Mariana Navarrete Morales, and Michael J. Tierney | March 2016

The IR of the Beholder

This article presents findings from the 2014 Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project’s worldwide faculty survey that speak to recent claims in the Global International Relations (IR) Debate. The expansion of the 2014 TRIP faculty survey to thirty-two countries, including more than a dozen non-Western IR communities, enables an initial empirical assessment of some key questions raised by advocates and detractors of “Global IR.” This contribution describes and analyzes scholars’ own perceptions of the IR discipline and adds to the empirical literature on the Global IR Debate. In particular, we address three claims: that IR is a Western/American dominated discipline, that geography is the core dividing line in IR, and that there is a division of labor within IR wherein scholars in the West are responsible for theory production while the non-West supplies data and local expertise for theory testing. We believe that these findings shed light both on how the discipline came to be divided between dominant and marginalized discourses and in which areas this division is most embedded and/or ready to be dismantled.

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Technique Trumps Relevance: The Professionalization of Political Science and the Marginalization of Security Studies
Perspectives on Politics

Michael Desch | June 2015

Technique Drumpfs Relevance

I explain here the disconnect between our discipline's self-image as balancing rigor with relevance with the reality of how we actually conduct our scholarship most of the time. To do so, I account for variation in social scientists' willingness to engage in policy-relevant scholarship over time. My theory is that social science, at least as it has been practiced in the United States since the early twentieth century, has tried to balance two impulses: To be a rigorous science and a relevant social enterprise. The problem is that there are sometimes tensions between these two objectives. First, historically the most useful policy-relevant social science work in the area of national security affairs has been interdisciplinary in nature, and this cuts against the increasingly rigid disciplinary siloes in the modern academy. Second, as sociologist Thomas Gieryn puts it, there is “in science, an unyielding tension between basic and applied research, and between the empirical and theoretical aspects of inquiry.” During wartime, the tensions between these two impulses have been generally muted, especially among those disciplines of direct relevance to the war effort; in peacetime, they reemerge and there are a variety of powerful institutional incentives within academe to resolve them in favor of a narrow definition of rigor that excludes relevance. My objective is to document how these trends in political science are marginalizing the sub-field of security studies, which has historically sought both scholarly rigor and real-world relevance.

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Time to Quantify Turkey’s Foreign Affairs: Setting Quality Standards for a Maturing International Relations Discipline
International Studies Perspectives

Ersel Aydinli and Gonca Biltekin | January 2016

Time to Quantify

The first part of this article discusses the current state of International Relations (IR) in Turkey and begins with the argument that the local disciplinary community shows a lack of adequate communication and interactive scholarly debates, and therefore of knowledge accumulation. This article proposes that the growth of such engagement could be encouraged by increased methodological diversity, in particular additional research using quantitative methods. It argues that quantitative research could contribute to engagement by providing conceptual and methodological clarity around which scholarly debates could develop and ultimately contribute to Turkish IR’s progress as a disciplinary community. To substantiate these claims, this article goes on to discuss the development and contributions of quantitative research to global IR and illustrates the potential benefits of using quantitative methods in the study of Turkish foreign affairs.

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Poland's International Relations Scholarly Community and Its Distinguishing Features According to the 2014 TRIP Survey of International Relations Scholars
Baltic Journal of Political Science

Jacek Czaputowicz and Kamil Ławniczak | December 2015

Poland’s IR Scholarly Community

In 2014, Poland was the first Central and Eastern European (CEE) country to be included in the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project. This article characterizes the Polish International Relations (IR) scholarly community and compares it with other IR scholarly communities throughout the world that also participated in the 2014 TRIP project. The 2014 TRIP survey, the Survey of International Relations Scholars (SIRS) asked Polish participants to identify: the strengths and weaknesses of the Polish IR discipline, influential Polish scholars and books published in Poland, and useful divergent study areas for practical policy purposes. Polish SIRS participants were also asked to share their research interests in both substantive areas and geographical regions, their opinions on economic and social issues, and their predictions concerning important developments in international policy. We concluded that while Polish scholars have much in common with their counterparts around the world, there are also significant differences. For example, Polish scholars identify themselves as more conservative than their international peers in social and ideological matters, more liberal in the economic sphere, and were more pessimistic about relations between the US and Russia in the near future.

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Experiments in International Relations: Lab, Survey, and Field
Annual Review of Political Science

Susan D. Hyde | May 2015

Experiments in IR

At conferences, at seminar s, and on political science blogs, the potential utility of experimental methods for international relations (IR) research continues to be a hotly contested topic. Given the recent rise in creative applications of experimental methods, now is a useful moment to reflect more generally on the potential value of experiments to study international affairs, how these inherently micro-level methods can shed light on bigger-picture questions what has been learned already, what goals are probably out of reach, and how various research agendas in IR might productively incorporate experiments.

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Democracy is Democracy is Democracy? Changes in Evaluations of International Institutions in Academic Textbooks, 1970-2010
International Politics

Klaus Dingworth, Ina Lehmann, Ellen Reichel, and Tobias Weise | May 2015

Democracy is Democracy is Democracy?

This article examines what democracy means when it is used in academic textbook evaluations of international institutions and how the meaning of the term "democracy" in such evaluations has changed over time. An analysis of 71 textbooks on international institutions in the policy areas of international security, environmental, and human rights politics leads us to several answers. We observe slight changes in relation to three aspects. First, the range of democracy-relevant actors expands over time, most notably in relation to nonstate actors as important participants in (or even subjects of) international policymaking. Second, representational concerns become more relevant in justifying demands for greater participation in international institutions. Third, international organizations are increasingly discuss not only as subjects that enhance the transparency and accountability of the policies of their member states, but also as the objects of democratic demands for transparency and accountability themselves.

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Knowledge Without Power: International Relations Scholars and the US War in Iraq
International Politics

James D. Long, Daniel Maliniak, Susan M. Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney | January 2015

Knowledge Without Power

In this article we present several important first steps toward understanding the role of academics in shaping US foreign policy – identifying their policy views on one of the most salient foreign policy issues of this generation, the US War in Iraq; exploring how those views differ from public opinion more generally; and assessing the extent to which scholarly opinion was reflected in the public debate. To determine how IR scholars’ views on the invasion of Iraq differed from those of the public, we compare the answers of IR scholars at US colleges and universities to those of the US public on similar opinion survey questions. To this end, we analyze data from a unique series of surveys of IR scholars conducted by the Teaching, Research, and International Policy project.

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The Limits of Securitization Theory: Observational Criticism and the Curious Absence of Israel
International Studies Review

Amir Lupovici | September 2014

Limits of Securitization

Most discussions concerning how to evaluate theories make reference to empirical, methodological, logical, or normative criticisms. Less attention is given to how challenges in the theory itself affect the choice of cases. In this paper, Lupovici puts forward the concept of observational criticism, which aims to trace biases in the empirical employment of a theory. While it overlaps with some of the criticism mentioned above, observational criticism distinctly focuses on what we can learn about a theory through the prominence or absence of cases, or types of case, in the scholarship. To this end, Lupovici suggests a three-stage approach for this criticism and demonstrates each of these stages, as well as the utility of this framework, through a consideration of securitization scholarship - and more specifically of how securitization studies have overlooked the case of securitization moves in Israel. Lupovici suggests that although the concept of securitization has generated a great many studies on various theoretical and empirical issues, and despite the prominence of security discourse and practices in Israel, securitization scholarship has tended to avoid studying the securitization processes of this country. Following this mode of criticism, Lupovici argues that securitization theory could be more easily implemented in the case of Israel by, among other things, further clarifying the meaning of securitization success and its duration.

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In-And-Outers and Moonlighters: An Evaluations of the Impact of Policy-Making Exposure on IR Scholarship
International Studies Perspectives

Bradley C. Parks and Alena Stern | February 2014


Some IR scholars lament the divide that exists between the academic community and the policy community. Others celebrate it. In this article, we test a core proposition advanced by advocates of bridging the policy-academy divide: that direct engagement in the policy-making process will make international relations scholars more adept at designing, undertaking, and communicating research in ways that are useful and relevant to policymakers. Using a difference-in-difference estimation strategy, we evaluate whether and to what extent direct exposure to the policy-making process influences how IR scholars select publication outlets. We define and evaluate policy-making exposure in two ways: periods of public service in which faculty members temporarily vacate their university positions to work for governments or intergovernmental organizations; and instances in which faculty members undertake substantial consulting assignments for government agencies and intergovernmental organizations. Our findings suggest that "in-and-outers" - faculty members who temporarily leave the ivory tower to accept policy positions - return to the academy with new perspectives and publication priorities. By contrast, we find no policy-making exposure effect among "moonlighters." Our results suggest that IR scholars are no more likely to publish in policy journals after doing part-time consulting work for governments and IOs.

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The Personal is Not Political: At Least in the UK's Top Politics and IR Departments
British Journal of Politics & International Relations

Emma Foster, Peter Kerr, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Byrne, and Linda Ahall | November 2013

The Personal is Not Political

Through mapping the provision of teaching gender and sexuality studies on politics/political science and international relations (IR) programs, this article asserts that the top-ranked politics and IR departments in the UK offer very little provision of such teaching. We argue that this lack of gender and, more so, sexuality teaching is highly problematic for the discipline. Moreover, we suggest that the lack of such provision is not reflective of staff research interests, potentially not reflective of the market (i.e. students), works against the trend of mainstreaming gender, and is problematic in the wider sense in that gender and sexuality are rendered invisible or trivial matters. Overall then, this article contends that curricula in politics and IR departments work to perpetuate the idea that the 'personal is not political,' thereby defining the parameters of the discipline in both a narrow and inaccurate way.

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The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations
International Organization

Daniel Maliniak, Ryan Powers, and Barbara F. Walters | October 2013

Gender Citation Gap

This article investigates the extent to which citation and publication patterns differ between men and women in the international relations (IR) literature. Using data from the Teaching, Research, and International Policy project on peer-reviewed publications between 1980 and 2006, we show that women are systematically cited less than men after controlling for a large number of variables including year of publication, venue of publication, substantive focus, theoretical perspective, methodology, tenure status, and institutional affiliation. These results are robust to a variety of modeling choices. We then turn to network analysis to investigate the extent to which the gender of an article's author affects that article's relative centrality in the network of citations between papers in our sample. Aricles authored by women are systematically less central than articles authored by men, all else equal. This is likely because (1) women tend to cite themselves less than men, and (2) men (who make up a disproportionate share of IR scholars) tend to cite men more than women. This is the first study in political science to reveal significant gender differences in citation patterns and is especially meaningful because citation counts are increasingly used as a key measure of research's quality and impact.

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RIPE, The American School, and Diversity in Global IPE
Review of International Political Economy

J.C. Sharman and Catherine Weaver | October 2013

RIPE, American School, and Diversity

On the occasion of the Review of International Political Economy's 20th anniversary, this paper systematically assesses RIPE's claim to represent an alternative to the ‘mainstream’ study of international political economy (IPE) with several new sources of evidence. The first is the IPE component of a 20-country survey of international relations (IR) faculty, the second a database of books in the field. The third, and most important, is derived from coding 326 RIPE articles published 2000–10 to discover key cleavages and trends. These results are compared with those from prior studies of the 12 IR journals identified as the ‘leading’ journals by the Teaching, Research and International Politics (TRIP) project. The article concentrates on five key issues: paradigmatic orientation, epistemology, methodology, policy orientation, and demography. The results provide ground for scepticism that the ‘American School’ of IPE does or will define the mainstream. The findings further tend to confirm that RIPE has stayed relatively true to its founders’ intentions in representing diversity in the global study of IPE.

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Leaving Theory Behind: Why Simplistic Hypothesis Testing Is Bad for International Relations
European Journal of International Relations

John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt | September 2013

Leaving Theory Behind

Theory creating and hypothesis testing are both critical components of social science, but the former is ultimately more important. Yet, in recent years, International Relations scholars have devoted less effort to creating and refining theories or using theory to guide empirical research. Instead, they increasingly focus on 'simplistic hypothesis testing,' which emphasizes discovering well-verified empirical regularities. Privileging simplistic hypothesis testing is a mistake, however, because insufficient attention to theory leads to misspecified empirical models or misleading measure of key concepts. In addition, the poor quality of much of the data in International Relations makes it less likely that these efforts will produce cumulative knowledge. This shift away from theory and toward simplistic hypothesis testing reflects a long-standing desire to professionalize and expand the International Relations field as well as the short-term career incentives of individual scholars. This tendency is also widening the gap between the ivory tower and the real world, making IR scholarship less useful to policymakers and concerned citizens. Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue unless there is a collective decision to alter prevailing academic incentives.

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The Mother of All Isms: Casual Mechanisms and Structured Pluralism in International Relations Theory
European Journal of International Relations

Andrew Bennett | September 2013

Leaving Theory Behind

Theorizing under the rubric of paradigmatic 'isms' has made important conceptual contributions to International Relations, but the organization of the subfield around these isms is based on flawed readings of the philosophy of science and has run its course. A promising alternative is to build on the philosophical foundation of scientific realism and orient IR theorizing around the idea of explanation via reference to hypothesized casual mechanisms. Yet in order to transform the practice of International Relations theorizing and research, calls for 'analytic eclecticism' must not only demonstrate that scientific realism is a defensible epistemology amenable to diverse methods; they must provide a structured and memorable framework for diverse and cumulative theorizing and research, field-wide discourse, and compelling pedagogy. Bennett introduces a 'taxonomy of theories about causal mechanisms' as a structured pluralist framework for encompassing the theories about mechanisms of power, institutions, and legitimacy that have been providing the explanatory content of the isms all along. This framework encourages middle-range or typological theorizing about combinations of causal mechanisms and their operation in recurrent contexts, and it offers a means of reinvigorating the dialogue between International Relations, the other subfields of political science, and the rest of the social sciences.

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Me and the Other in International Relations: An Alternative Pluralist International Relations 101
International Studies Perspectives

Amir Lupovici | August 2013

Me and the Other

A gap is currently growing between the rich theories in International Relations (IR) and how they are presented in classrooms. Although the scholarly literature acknowledges the complexities of international relations, these notions are not fully integrated into IR courses, especially at the introductory level. Lupovici asserts that teaching IR through the framework of relations between different me(s) and other(s) would address this problem. In short, Lupovici asserts that international relations are almost by definition about interactions between a me and an other. Acknowledging this fact will allow us to sharpen a number of important issues and questions in world politics concerning the me(s) (for example, states, ethnic groups, IGOs, NGOs, transnational communities) and their relevant other(s). Vupovici contends that this approach helps to capture the multiplicity of actors, interactions, and practices in IR, and to better connect them to the theories in the field. Lupovici further suggests that this approach not only provides a fruitful method for teaching IR, but it also allows scholars (and students) to rethink and reflect on the field.

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Is French IR Emerging? French IR Scholars in the 2011 TRIP Survey
French Journal of Political Science

Jérémie Cornut and Dario Battistella | June 2013

French Scholars – 2011 TRIP Survey

In the second edition of the 2013 French Journal of Political Science, this article provides an overview of French International Relations (IR) from the responses obtained in the fourth TRIP survey, in which 3,466 internationalists from 20 different countries — among them 101 French — participated in September 2011. The picture that emerges from this study brings a number of things into perspective: the role of IR in the French university, the possible existence of IR to the French, French internationalist positioning relative to current trends in global IR, practitioners' attitudes toward international relations and the issue of the French language.

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Between the Covers: International Relations in Books
PS: Political Science & Politics

J.C. Sharman and Catherine E. Weaver | January 2013

Between the Covers

Efforts to systematize our knowledge of international relations have tended to focus on journal articles while ignoring books. In contrast, Sharman and Weaver argue that to know IR we must know IR books. To this end, this article presents the first systematic analysis of such books based on coding 500 IR texts published by leading presses against variables covering methodology, theoretical paradigm, and policy application. We compare the results with those of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project's coding of 2,800 journal articles against the same variables, and the 2008 and 2011 TRIP surveys of more than 3,000 IR scholars. The main findings are that books are much less quantitative than articles published in leading journals, are somewhat more representative of the field according to paradigm, and are more engaged with policy concerns.

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Politics and Paradigm Preferences: The Implicit Ideology of International Relations Scholars
International Studies Quarterly

Brian Rathbun | September 2012

Politics and Paradigm Preferences

Do international relations scholars view political events through their own political lens? Can they observe objectively or are they affected by their political orientation? Brian Rathbun of the University of Southern California explores the topic in "Politics and Paradigm Preferences: The Implicit Ideology of International Relations Scholars," published in the International Studies Quarterly (2012).

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Theory or Practice? The State of International Relations in Poland
European Political Science

Jacek Czaputowicz | June 2012

Theory or Practice?

The subject of this article is the state of the discipline of International Relations (IR) in Poland. In the communist era, IR was an arena of ideological confrontation. The political science approach was based on Marxist ideology. The transformation after 1989 can be described as a transition from real socialism to common sense realism, and hence an approach that is practical, but lacking in more far-reaching theoretical reflection. The closure of this gap is inevitably a slow process. However, it has been possible to sense some creative spirit within the discipline recently, as is attested by the publication of a series of major works by Polish and foreign authors, initiating a debate on the condition of IR and the establishment of the Polish International Studies Association. However, the state of the discipline in Poland will require a raising of the level of teaching at Polish universities, not least through a fuller account being taken of research methodologies and theories.

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TRIP Around the World
The Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations

Daniel Maliniak, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney | May 2012

TRIP Around the World

How do IR scholars’ views about teaching, research, the discipline, and contemporary policy issues vary across the globe? This report provides descriptive statistics on the responses of IR scholars from 20 countries. This is the 4th such survey that TRIP researchers have conducted since 2004 and the first to break the language barrier, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Turkish speaking scholars in the survey. The TRIP survey is one part of a broader effort to explore trends in the academic study of IR and to assess the relationship between IR scholars and practitioners. Previous TRIP survey Reports from 2004, 2006, and 2008 can be found on the TRIP Publications Page.

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Accounting For the Politics of Language in the Sociology of IR
Journal of International Relations and Development

Anne-Marie D'Aoust | January 2012

Accounting for the Politics of Language

In her article, D'Aoust suggests that the impacts on knowledge production of the imperative to write in English in order to be acknowledged as ‘doing IR’ have been understudied in their theoretical, material, and emotional implications. This explicitly reflexivist take on language as an everyday social practice integral to knowledge production assumes a connection ‘between knowledge and lived social practice rather than between knowledge and the sphere of cultural values’ (Jackson 2011: 178) and seeks to question the underlying assumptions and hierarchies which ground specific practices in order to foster change.

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Beyond Geography and Social Structure: Disciplinary Sociologies of Power in International Relations
Journal of International Relations and Development

Kevin McMillan| January 2012

Strong Geography and Social Structure

McMillan argues that geographical characterizations are neither the only ways to conceptualize disciplinary hegemony nor are they the most useful. National/regional borders and communities are a convenient but ultimately imprecise and overly narrow means of demarcating global disciplinary hegemony. Though national policies may provide a degree of commonality along certain institutional dimensions — which ones no doubt varying from case to case — there is no particular reason to suppose that national or regional borders will correspond rigorously to the boundaries between specific constellations of institutional structure, intellectual culture, epistemic history or theoretical debate, should such exist. Nor, for that matter, to the structure and exercise of disciplinary power worldwide.

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Contemporary "Dissidence" in American IR: The New Structure of Anti-Mainstream Scholarship?
International Studies Perspectives

Inanna Hamati-Ataya | November 2011

Contemporary Dissidence in American IR

Dissidence in IR, as in any other social field, reflects both an identity and a practice of opposition to the system. While the fact of dissidence is largely manifested in its very discursive occurrence, this article attempts to go beyond the performative nature of dissidence in order to identify the collective, common ground that unites self-acclaimed dissident scholars, to understand whether they form an objectively constituted social group, and to what extent they encompass dissidence in the field. Based on the analysis of a survey sent to American IR academia, this article shows that contemporary dissidence in American IR is structured not only by its opposition to mainstream IR, but also by internal divisions between the first generation of now established critical dissidents, and an emerging group of Constructivist scholars who do no claim, but do practice, a clearly dissident and more marginalized scholarship.

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International Relations in the U.S. Academy
International Studies Review

Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney | June 2011

IR in the US Academy

TRIP researchers recently published an article in the June 2011 issue of International Studies Quarterly that addresses a number of questions about the nature and trajectory of the IR field within the United States.
Using two new data sources to describe trends in the international relations (IR) discipline since 1980-a database of every article published in the 12 leading journals in the field and three surveys of IR faculty at US colleges and universities-we explore the extent of theoretical, methodological, and epistemological diversity in the American study of IR and the relationship between IR scholarship and the policy-making community in the United States.
We find, first, that there is considerable and increasing theoretical diversity. Although US scholars believe and teach their students that the major paradigms-realism, liberalism, Marxism, and constructivism-define and divide the discipline, most peer-reviewed research does not advance a theoretical argument from one of these theoretical traditions. There is no evidence, moreover, that realism and its focus on power relations among states dominate, or since 1980 ever has dominated, the literature. Second, although three times as many IR scholars report using qualitative methods as their primary approach, more articles published in the top journals currently employ quantitative tools than any other methodological approach. Third, there exists little epistemological diversity in the field: American IR scholars share a strong and growing commitment to positivism. Finally, there is a disjuncture between what American scholars of IR think about the value of producing policy-relevant work and the actual research they generate: few articles in top journals offer explicit policy advice, but scholars believe that their work is both prescriptive and useful to policymakers.

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Anglo-American Followers or Antipodean Iconoclasts? The 2008 TRIP Survey of International Relations in Australia and New Zealand
Australian Journal of International Affairs

J.C. Sharman and Jacqui True | April 2011

Anglo American Followers or Antipodean Iconoclasts?

This article examines the results of the world's largest ever survey of international relations (IR) scholars with an eye to establishing the particularities of the discipline in Australia and New Zealand. The survey covered the areas of teaching, research, the structure of the profession and scholars' views on foreign policy. From these results, this paper compares IR in New Zealand and Australia, and discusses the extent to which the discipline in these two countries is distinctive from its overseas counterparts, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. The particular areas of focus include the degree to which the field in Australasia conforms to or differs from US or Commonwealth identities; epistemological and gender divides; the distinctive foci of what IR scholars in both countries teach and research; which publications are favored and disfavored; and the contrasting linkages between academia and the world of government and policy. We conclude with some suggestions about how the field in both countries might be improved.

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Foreign Policy and International Relations from an Australian Perspective
Australian Journal of Political Science

Derek McDougall | June 2010

Australian Perspective

The article reviews the books "Fear of Security: Australia's Asian Anxiety," by Anthony Burke; "Making Australian Foreign Policy," 2nd edition, by Allan Gyngell and Michael Wesley; and "An Introduction to International Relations: Australian Perspectives," edited by Richard Devetak, Anothny Burke, and Jim George.

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Is Anybody Not an (International Relations) Liberal?
Security Studies

Brian C. Rathbun | February 2010

Is Anybody Not an (IR) Liberal?

While realism has recently been subjected to intense examination with regard to its theoretical coherence, liberalism - often thought to be the bookend to realism - has so far escaped such scrutiny. Liberalism is generally defined in one of two ways, each faulty. The first definition is in terms of the dependent variable as any argument that expects growing cooperation and progress in international affairs, understood as increased peace and prosperity, seizing for liberalism any independent variable found important for potentially promoting international cooperation. Second, liberalism is defined in terms of the units of analysis as any argument that disaggregates the state into smaller units. This equates liberalism with an entire level of analysis. This strategy of appropriation is inappropriate. approaches to international relations need a core logic in order to justify the inclusion of particular independent variables or the use of a particular level of analysis. Since so many other paradigms also lay claim to those same entities, we are left wondering in anybody is not a liberal. Appropriation leads us to miss crucial distinctions between alternative explanations of the same outcomes, such as the "liberal" phenomena of the democratic peace and the transformative effects of international organizations.

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IR and the False Promise of Philosophical Foundations
International Theory

Nuno P Monteiro and Keven G. Ruby | March 2009

IR and the False Promise

International Relations (IR) is uneasy about its status as a 'science'. Throughout a long history of attempts to legitimate the field as 'scientific', IR scholars have imported multifarious positions from the Philosophy of Science (PoS) in order to ground IR on an unshakable foundation. Alas, no such unshakable foundation exists. The PoS is itself a contested field of study, in which no consensus exists on the proper foundation for science. By importing foundational divisions into IR, the 'science' debate splits the discipline into contending factions and justifies the absence of dialogue between them. As all foundations require a leap of faith, imperial foundational projects are always vulnerable to challenge and therefore unable to resolve the science question in IR. In this article, Monteiro and Ruby seek to dissolve rather than solve the 'science' debate in IR and the quest for philosophical foundations. They argue that IR scholars should adopt an 'attitude towards' rather than a 'position in' the irresolvable foundation debate. Specifically, we advocated an attitude of 'foundational prudence' that is open-minded about what the PoS can offer IR, while precluding imperial foundational projects, which attempt to impose a single meta-theoretical framework on the discipline. This requires knowing what PoS arguments can and cannot do. As such foundational prudence is post-foundational rather than anti-foundational. A prudent attitude towards philosophical foundations encourages theoretical and methodological pluralism, making room for a question-driven IR while de-escalating intra-disciplinary politics.

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One Discipline or Many? 2008 TRIP Survey of International Relations Faculty in Ten Countries
The Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations

Richard Jordan, Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael Tierney | February 2009

One or Many?

To what extent is there national variation in how scholars teach IR, think about the discipline, view their role in the policy process, and approach critical contemporary foreign policy debates? Conversely, to what extent is there a single-perhaps American-driven-IR discipline? To begin to answer these questions, the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project has conducted the first cross-national survey of IR faculty in ten countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. This report provides descriptive statistics and top line results for all 90 questions asked on the 2008 survey.

Download(pdf) | Daniel Drezner's Blog | Duck of Minerva Blog | Think Progress


The American School of IPE
Review of International Political Economy

Daniel Maliniak and Michael J. Tierney | February 2009

The American School of IPE

This paper uses the results of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project: a multi-year study of the international relations (IR) field in order to discern the major characteristics of international political economy scholarship in the United States today. It finds that, like Benjamin Cohen's depiction of the American school, IPE in the United States is increasingly positivist, quantitative, and liberal in orientation. It employs data from a journal article database that tracks trends in publication patterns. It also analyzes data from two surveys of IR scholars in the US and Canada that were conducted in the fall of 2006.

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TRIP's Across the Atlantic: Theory and Epistemology in IPE
Review of International Political Economy

David A. Lake | February 2009

Theory and Epistemology in IPE

Beginning from the Teaching, Research, and International Politics (TRIP) survey, this paper outlines the most important emerging paradigm in international political economy (IPE), known as open economy politics (OEP). This approach forms the core of the 'American' school of IPE. The paper then contrast the epistemology of OEP, based on partial equilibrium analysis, with that of the 'British' school of IPE, which favors a more holistic approach. This difference is not captured well in the TRIP survey, nor is it particularly well understood by many proponents of either side. Recognizing the progressive nature of the OEP research program, the essay concludes with a call to bridge but not necessarily to abolish the transatlantic divide.

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Women in International Relations
Politics and Gender

David A. Lake | February 2009

Women in IR

Women now receive political science degrees in record numbers, but female representation among political science faculty still lags behind that of many other disciplines. Women may be underrepresented in the profession and trail their male colleagues because they see the world differently; they may see the world differently because of their minority status within the discipline; or the causal arrow may run in both directions. Many feminist scholars contend that gender subordination explains significant differences in worldview between men and women. Other scholars suggest that female political scientists adopt methods and choose topics that are not considered to be the best or most rigorous types of research by the editors of leading journals in order to differentiate themselves. This article examines the role that female scholars play in the discipline of international relations, using the 2006 TRIP survey to follow trends unique to female academics in the United States.

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Divided Discipline? Comparing Views of US and Canadian IR Scholars
International Journal

Michael Lipson, Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney | Spring 2007

Divided Discipline?

How does international relations teaching and scholarship differ across countries? This article reports results from the TRIP survey of international relations faculty at US and Canadian universities conducted in 2006. The article compares trends in the content and methods of college instructors at four year universities as well as their individual research and outlook on foreign policy. Some interesting differences emerge in this portrait of two IR communities. Canadian IR, for instance, appears to be both more internationally born and educated than US IR, as well as more politically liberal, while US professors devote more time to traditional paradigmatic debates. Course content, however, remains remarkably similar. Learn more about the way teaching and research differs between the US and Canada in this groundbreaking international study.

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