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Abstract

▪ Abstract 

Policy makers pay relatively little attention to the vast theoretical literature in IR, and many scholars seem uninterested in doing policy-relevant work. These tendencies are unfortunate because theory is an essential tool of statecraft. Many policy debates ultimately rest on competing theoretical visions, and relying on a false or flawed theory can lead to major foreign policy disasters. Theory remains essential for diagnosing events, explaining their causes, prescribing responses, and evaluating the impact of different policies. Unfortunately, the norms and incentives that currently dominate academia discourage many scholars from doing useful theoretical work in IR. The gap between theory and policy can be narrowed only if the academic community begins to place greater value on policy-relevant theoretical work.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.polisci.7.012003.104904
2005-06-15
2024-04-14
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.polisci.7.012003.104904
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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