The effects of transformative global events on International Relations scholarship (new journal article)

ISPIt is generally accepted today that major international events – such as in 1914, 1945, 1989 or 2001 – contribute to guiding IR scholarship’s interests. Yet, it remains surprisingly poorly explored how, beyond substantive focus, transformative political events affect the academic field’s own working and organization. Whereas we know that global key moments (such as the end of the Cold War) were or are experienced differently by different societies, at the policy level, in terms of identity-construction and historiography, it remains to explore how such changes influence scholarly work in different higher education systems. This forthcoming article in International Studies Perspectives focuses on this linkage. It centers on the role of institutional factors in the conditioning of IR scholarship, which it sees as important yet under-explored intervening elements in the interrelation between political events and academic practice. The article defines the utility of such focus and illustrates it with casework centering on the end of the Cold War, and three central parties to the Cold War conflict – Russia as representative of the Eastern Bloc, Canada of the Western Alliance, and Switzerland as a Neutral polity. In doing so, the article showcases how institutional factors such as funding schemes, the marketization of education or creation of new IR departments operate as effective ‘hinges’, exerting significant influence over the ways scholars develop ideas about international relations.

Grenier, Félix; Hagmann, Jonas; Lebedeva, Marina; Nikitina, Yulia; Biersteker, Thomas; Koldunova, Ekatarina (forth.). The institutional ‘hinge’: How the end of the Cold War conditioned Canadian, Russian and Swiss IR scholarship. International Studies Perspectives. PDF

SNSF/RFH research project on ‘international teaching’ in Russia, Canada, and Switzerland

How are civil servants educated in international politics in the East, in the West, and in-between? The Swiss National Science Fundation and the Russian Foundation for Humanities decided to co-fund a comparative two-year investigation into the contents and practices of teaching world politics at academic and professional schools in Russia, Canada and Switzerland. The project starts in 2016 and ends in 2019,  brings together a team of scholars from Russia, Canada and Switzerland, and is jointly led by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).