Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide in International Relations
Daniel Maliniak, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers, Michael J. Tierney
There is a widening divide between the data, tools, and knowledge that international relations scholars produce and what policy practitioners find relevant for their work. In this first-of-its kind conversation, leading academics and veteran practitioners reflect on the nature and size of the theory-practice divide. They find that the gap varies by issue area and over time.
The essays in this volume use systematic data gathered by the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project over a fifteen-year period. As a whole, the volume analyzes the structural factors that affect the academy’s ability to influence policy across issue areas and the professional incentives that affect scholars’ willingness to attempt to do so. Individual chapters explore these questions in the issue areas of trade, finance, human rights, development, environment, nuclear weapons and strategy, interstate war, and intrastate conflict. Each substantive chapter is followed by a response from a policy practitioner, providing their perspective on the gap and the possibility for academic work to have an impact.
Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide in International Relations provides concrete answers and guidance about how and when scholarship can be policy relevant.