Beyond the ivory tower: international relations theory and by Joseph Lepgold, Miroslav Nincic

By Joseph Lepgold, Miroslav Nincic

The distance among teachers and practitioners in diplomacy has widened in recent times, in keeping with the authors of this e-book. Many diplomacy students not try and succeed in past the ivory tower and plenty of policymakers disdain diplomacy scholarship as arcane and beside the point. Joseph Lepgold and Miroslav Nincic show how sturdy diplomacy thought can tell coverage offerings. Globalization, ethnic clash, and ecological threats have created a brand new set of matters that problem policymakers, and state of the art scholarship can give a contribution greatly to the analysis and dealing with of probably explosive events.

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To do that, academics must appreciate the constraints and incentives under which decisionmakers operate. Officials have very little time to read and reflect. Joseph Nye, one of the few people who has flourished as both a scholar and a policymaker, was surprised at how “oral” the culture of toplevel government service has become. As he put it, The pace did not permit wide reading or detailed contemplation. I was often bemused by colleagues who sent me thirty- or forty-page articles they thought would be helpful.

In 1999, the The Theory-Practice Gap in International Relations 17 MacArthur Foundation sponsored a conference at which PhD students in economics were shown how they might do applied research. The sponsors believed that first-year graduate training in economics has become so relentlessly mathematical that students in those programs do not know how to formulate an applied research project. Aside from the sponsors, a number of prominent economists fear that this kind of disconnect with the real world might drive bright undergraduates from the field.

40 A significant part of political science seems to be moving in the same direction. Many social scientists in other fields have long envied economists for their seeming ability to capture a complex reality through elegant models. Because political science deals with a more confined area of human activity than anthropology and sociology, the questions it asks have seemed more susceptible to formal approaches. 41 These arguments should not be interpreted as a blanket critique of statistics or formal models, both of which have been quite valuable in IR work.

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