Der „akademische Mainstream“ in den deutschen IB

[Alex Radelich/unsplash]

Angesichts seines Forschungsgegenstandes ist man versucht, das Feld der Internationalen Beziehungen (IB) als besonders kosmopolitisches und ökumenisches Wissenschaftsfeld einzustufen. Dass dies nur teilweise der Fall ist und die IB oft eher einer Ansammlung sich bekriegender Stämme ähneln, zeigt Matthew Stephen in seinem neuen Blogpost. Denkt man an den oder die idealtypische*n Wissenschaftler*in der Disziplin, so würde einem vielleicht jemand einfallen, der oder die sich mit formellen Institutionen, politischer Ökonomie oder Konflikten befasst, mit quantitativen Methoden arbeitet und in amerikanischen Journals veröffentlicht. Wirft man einen Blick auf die IB in Deutschland, so wird aber schnell klar, dass diese Vergleichsfolie der Realität nicht standhält. Warum dies der Fall ist und wie die deutschen IB im Vergleich zu den USA und Großbritannien abschneiden, erfahren Sie im kompletten englischen Beitrag hier.  

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The “scholarly mainstream” in German IR

[Alex Radelich/unsplash]

Given its object of study, one would think that the field of International Relations would be a particularly cosmopolitan and ecumenical discipline. In many ways it is. But in some respects it resembles a collection of warring tribes. This has probably declined somewhat since the Big Debates of the 1990s—the Neo-Neo Debate, epistemology wars between neo-positivists and ‘critical’ theorists—which still provide many of the key readings for students of IR theory. But these Big Debates didn’t really end in a definitive victory for one side. They mostly gave way to a Cold Peace amongst relatively insular scholarly communities. Well they maybe did – it’s hard to know for sure.

One of the interesting phenomena about how IR scholars talk about their field and their tribe is that they often refer to it as ‘mainstream’. Often, this is done by those who feel they are outside of the mainstream. (Interestingly, there does not appear to be an accepted metaphor to refer to those who are not part of the mainstream – backwaters? Counter-currents?) But what does this mainstream consist of?

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Interview: Mervyn Frost on Practice Theory and unexpectedly teaching IR

In this episode, Lynda Iroulo talks to Mervyn Frost, Professor of International Relations at the Department of War Studies, King´s College London. If you want to find out more about the debates and authors in International Relations (IR) that influenced Mervyn´s career most, his first unexpected teaching experience and why he thinks traffic in Berlin is much more civilized than in London, we’ve got your back!

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

Iroulo: What brought you to the WZB and for how long will you be here?

Frost: Well, I used to be a Professor at the University of Kent, and I came here in 1999 for the first time. Professor Dieter Rucht had organized a seminar on global citizenship, and I remember being very impressed with the institution and of course with Berlin. I have always had in mind that I would like to spend a sabbatical leave here and now I am doing exactly that. So, that is kind of the background of it, but as you said in your introduction, I have been interested in ethics in IR for many years now, I think it is over 40 years. The Global Governance Unit has got an interest, not only in the technicalities of Governance, but also in the normative aspect and the ethical aspect, so I thought this would be a nice home for me to work with sympathetic scholars who are all working in the same field.

Iroulo: What will you be working on during your stay at the WZB?

Continue reading “Interview: Mervyn Frost on Practice Theory and unexpectedly teaching IR”

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