It should be obvious to the readers of this blog that I am quite interested in bridging the divide between social science theory and policy. This leads to a lot of confusion about what I will do after graduate school, but for now I'm enjoying my time digging into socio/ecological/technical theories while maintaining focus on policy-relevant issues like climate change and agriculture. In the end, my research questions will likely be a combinations of theoretical and practical questions, though as I progress I will surely find some more interesting than others.
I just read three articles from some international relations blogs that address this issue-- and particularly the role of academics and graduate/early-career training. The field of political science has clearly grappled with this for a while, and it's no wonder why. I often think about how Science and Technology Studies has/will grapple with this, and I have some insights I could share offline should the chance arise. This also raises many normative questions about what academics should be doing, what do we owe society, should policy-makers listen to us, etc.
So here are the articles:
- International Affairs and the Public Sphere, By Stephen M. Walt
- Hanging Out on the Theory-Practice-Policy Divide, By Charli Carpenter
- What Does it Mean to Work Politically in Development? By Seth Kaplan
Also, for your daily LOLs, this.