November 14, 2005

Marc Lynch on Terrorism and IR, Continued

Over the weekend Binky noted that Marc Lynch had written a post at Abu Aardvark on the dearth of scholarship on terrorism in the field of International Relations since 9/11. That post got a lot of attention, so it's worth noting that Lynch has updated his thoughts on the matter. I can't say I find this particularly surprising, and I agree with what a lot of the people commenting at his site have written. Three points in particular stand out as reasons for the scarcity of this kind of work: 1) It might simply be too earlier to see some of this work given the lag-time associated with the peer review process; 2) to many in the IR academy terrorism isn't as important an issue as, for example, major trade patters or the relative power of state, so of course it won't be a central topic in the field's journals; and 3) there has been quite a lot of work on this in other fields where it is a more appropriate area of research. I'm familiar with the work on it in psychology, and I imagine there's a good deal of research on it in sociology and other disciplines.

Posted by armand at November 14, 2005 12:47 PM | TrackBack | Posted to The Academy


Sorry honey, it was Baltar. :)

Posted by: binky at November 14, 2005 01:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, my bad.

Posted by: Armand at November 14, 2005 01:09 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't followed Aardvark's thread in a few days, but one anecdotal piece of evidence: I opened the new Atlantic, and found an add by Cornell University Press. Of the twelve books advertised, at least three (possibly four, depends on how wide a net you want to cast) had to do with terrorism and islamic fundamentalism.

Is it possible that IR isn't generating articles, but is generating books?

Posted by: baltar at November 14, 2005 02:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think that actually is the case. To the degree I hear such things, academic publishers have been falling all over themselves trying to get books out on terrorism, Islam and the Middle East. Not all of these are strictly "IR", but there are certainly some out there that are influenced by IR.

As to why we see books and not articles ... that's an interesting question. It probably has something to do with the scope of the projects involved and their methodological content.

Posted by: Armand at November 14, 2005 02:35 PM | PERMALINK
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