By Joseph Lepgold, Miroslav Nincic
The distance among lecturers and practitioners in diplomacy has widened lately, in line with the authors of this e-book. Many diplomacy students not attempt to achieve past the ivory tower and lots of policymakers disdain diplomacy scholarship as arcane and inappropriate. Joseph Lepgold and Miroslav Nincic display how reliable diplomacy thought can tell coverage offerings. Globalization, ethnic clash, and ecological threats have created a brand new set of concerns that problem policymakers, and state of the art scholarship can give a contribution greatly to the analysis and dealing with of doubtless explosive occasions.
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Extra resources for Beyond the ivory tower: international relations theory and the issue of policy relevance
Nevertheless, the reluctance of policymakers to rely on the products of academia results not only from the sociologically based impediments to communication between the two worlds of endeavor, but also from the fact that those entrusted with the conduct of foreign policy do not normally seem to consider the ways in which noninstrumental knowledge can help them. One reason for this pattern is that policymakers may simply not realize that a well-supported generalization on an issue they care about may be very helpful to them.
From the point of view of scholars who want to produce relevant research and to communicate it outside the Ivory Tower, these patterns present a double-edged sword. The absence of a common language connecting foreign policy specialists makes it difficult for scholars to speak to them. To be 22 The Theory-Practice Gap in International Relations credible within their professional circle—that is, among fellow scholars— academics typically must use and assume their primary audience’s familiarity with certain concepts, lines of argument, and research tools.
Chapter 2 argues that knowledge is relevant under two conditions: if it establishes the range of possibilities for policy, and if it identifies the consequences of various courses of action. Within this framework, we discuss the forms of knowledge and reasoning upon which policymakers base their decisions, and we explain how this knowledge and reasoning can (and cannot) be complemented or supplemented by the contributions of social science. In the process, we focus on the properties of explanation, and show how good explanations of important phenomena lie at the foundation of the academic contribution to better policy.
Beyond the ivory tower: international relations theory and the issue of policy relevance by Joseph Lepgold, Miroslav Nincic