most recent published scenario is entitled World Without the West supports the

Most recent published scenario is entitled world

This preview shows page 194 - 195 out of 281 pages.

most recent published scenario is entitled “World Without the West,” supports the a Non-Western reinvention of the liberal order, and concludes that “This argument made a lot of people uncomfortable, mostly because of an endemic and gross overestimation of the reach, depth and attractiveness of the existing liberal order” () Over the past decade, the “cult of irrelevance” in political science scholarship has been lamented by a growing chorus (Putnam 2003; Nye 2009; Walt 2009). Prominent scholars of international affairs have diagnosed the roots of the gap between academia and policymaking, made the case for why political science research is valuable for policymaking , and offered a number of ideas for enhancing the policy relevance of scholarship in international relations and comparative politics (Walt 2005,2011; Mead 2010; Van Evera 2010; Jentleson and Ratner 2011; Gallucci 2012; Avey and Desch 2014). Building on these insights, several initiatives have been formed in the attempt to “bridge the gap.”2 Many of the specific efforts put in place by these projects focus on providing scholars with the skills, platforms, and networks to better communicate the findings and implications of their research to the policymaking community , a necessary and worthwhile objective for a field in which theoretical debates, methodological training, and publishing norms tend more and more toward the abstract and esoteric. Yet enhancing communication between scholars and policymakers is only one component of bridging the gap between international affairs theory and practice. Another crucial component of this bridge is the generation of substantive research programs that are actually policy relevant —a challenge to which less concerted attention has been paid. The dual challenges of bridging the gap are especially acute for graduate students, a particular irony since many enter the discipline with the explicit hope of informing policy. In a field that has an admirable devotion to pedagogical self-reflection , strikingly little attention is paid to techniques for generating policy-relevant ideas for dissertation and other research topics . Although numerous articles and conference workshops are devoted to the importance of experiential and problem-based learning, especially through techniques of simulation that emulate policymaking processes (Loggins 2009; Butcher 2012; Glasgow 2012; Rothman 2012; DiCicco 2014), little has been written about the use of such techniques for generating and developing innovative research ideas. This article outlines an experiential and problem-based approach to developing a political science research program using scenario analysis . It focuses especially on illuminating the research generation and pedagogical benefits of this technique by describing the use of scenarios in the annual New Era Foreign Policy Conference (NEFPC), which brings together doctoral students of international and comparative affairs who share a demonstrated interest in policy-relevant scholarship.3 In the introductory section, the article outlines the practice of
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