My thanks to Thomas Biersteker, David Carment, Marie-Eve Desrosiers, Daniel Drezner, Patrick Fafard, Ian Hurd, Robert Jervis, Anoulak Kittikhoun, Keith Krause, Michael Lund, Joseph Nye, James Ron, Oskar N.T. Thoms, Tom Weiss, Christoph Zuercher, and the participants in a seminar at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, for comments on earlier versions of this article.
Ordering the World: Academic Research and Policymaking on Fragile States1
Article first published online: 4 MAR 2011
© 2011 International Studies Association
International Studies Review
Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 58–71, March 2011
How to Cite
Paris, R. (2011), Ordering the World: Academic Research and Policymaking on Fragile States. International Studies Review, 13: 58–71. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2486.2010.00998.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 4 MAR 2011
Vol. 13, Issue 2, 386, Article first published online: 12 JUN 2011
The gap between academic research and policymaking in international relations (IR) is much lamented but poorly understood. Much of what we know about the gap is based on personal anecdotes, untested assumptions, and simplistic conceptions of what counts as policy influence. Using the literature on fragile states as a window into the research-policy interface, this article finds little evidence of scholarship directly influencing policies through specific recommendations and findings. However, academic ideas in this field appear to have important indirect effects on international policy actors – namely, by helping to define and refine understandings of state fragility as a policy problem and by informing the development of operational frameworks for responding to this problem – even though the actors themselves may not be entirely aware of such conceptual influences.