Are students and scholars of IR equipped to assist policy makers and the public as they confront this rapidly changing world? Conversely, does research and teaching in IR have any influence on the real world of international politics and policy making? Almost no systematic research has been done to document empirical patterns or verify causal hypotheses along these lines. TRIP started in 2003 as an effort to explore and analyze the connections between teaching, research, and policy in International Relations. We seek to remedy these shortcomings by creating new datasets and analyzing these relationships.
Numerous qualitative and quantitative data collections that capture important features of international policy and politics, such as data on trade flows, conflict processes, crisis decision making, terrorist attacks, aid flows, the diffusion of democracy, and number and type of NGOs. We lack good data, however, for the other two corners of the triad – teaching and research. Our project seeks to balance the triad and provide the sound descriptive basis upon which specific empirical conjectures and theoretically derived hypotheses might be tested.
In recent years, we have expanded our work to focus on bridging the gap between the study and practice of International Relations. Thanks to generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, our Strengthening the Links Initiative works to understand the relationship between IR scholarship and teaching, IR practiced by policymakers, IR views held by the public, and IR reporting and portrayal in the media.
To date, this project has several major empirical components:
- First, we explore which regions, issues, paradigms, methods, epistemologies, etc. have been employed over time in IR research by coding articles published in the top 12 IR and political science journals from 1980 to 2015.
- Second, we measure trends in IR research and teaching with results from an extensive survey of IR professors who teach and/or do research at colleges and universities in 32 different countries and 9 languages.
- Third, TRIP has launched a series of “snap polls” to survey IR scholars on current events shaping international politics and policy.
- Fourth, we have initiated a diverse range of pilot data collection efforts by partnering with other scholars and institutions. This includes collaboration on Public Opinion Polls, similar to our snap polls, to survey the US Public. To date we have also supported the collection and analysis of survey data from current and former U.S. policy makers and gathered data on research published in books, rather than just journal articles.
- Finally, we are in the process of building databases similar to our journal article databases to investigate the issues discussed and representation of academic knowledge in policy journals, blogs and op-eds. We are currently planning a survey of foreign policy journalists to further investigate the relationship between the media, the IR academy, and the practice of IR.
Our goal for data collection is to compare scholarship and pedagogy to see whether or not scholars teach the same paradigms, methods, issue areas and regions that they employ and examine in their own research. We use these data to ask similar questions about the impact (or lack of impact) on the thinking of practitioners, and how IR experts can better communicate knowledge via the media to inform policymaking.
To see our entire data dashboard, click here.