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

By Joseph Lepgold, Miroslav Nincic

The distance among lecturers and practitioners in diplomacy has widened in recent times, in response to the authors of this booklet. Many diplomacy students now not attempt to achieve past the ivory tower and plenty of policymakers disdain diplomacy scholarship as arcane and beside the point. Joseph Lepgold and Miroslav Nincic show how solid diplomacy concept 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 very much to the prognosis and dealing with of probably explosive occasions.

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Additional resources for Beyond the ivory tower: international relations theory and the issue of policy relevance

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Diagnosis seeks to characterize an existing situation; prescription emphasizes ways of changing it. Effective prescription assumes sound diagnosis; both require a sound foundation of relevant knowledge. Explanation, Scientific Method and Ordinary Knowledge The credibility of policy-relevant knowledge rests, in the final analysis, on its ability to explain why particular policies stand to produce certain effects, why some contextual circumstances may affect their likelihood of doing so, and why certain costs and consequences, either direct or indirect, are implied by these policies.

53 As a significant byproduct, it could also become highly policy-relevant. Interestingly, decisionmakers recognize these intellectual challenges and seem to desire help in dealing with them. As the late Joseph Kruzel—a senior Defense Department official at the time of his death and a one-time professor at Ohio State—put it, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a profound breakpoint in the policy process. The bureaucratic predilection to do tomorrow what you did yesterday does not work when the whole world has changed.

Since these problems are developing against a strategic backdrop quite different from that of the cold war, decisionmakers may require and desire help in sorting them out. Security-focused SIR that brings in considerations of ethnicity and community and work on identity that has implications for security might shed light on key policy issues. Outside the realm of security as traditionally defined, the picture has become even more complex. Deepening but often destabilizing economic linkages, massive refugee flows and other humanitarian emergencies, and 24 The Theory-Practice Gap in International Relations unprecedented global ecological problems have created a new set of issues that also vie for official attention—issues that challenge old ways of thinking about national interests and appropriate policy tools.

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