Peter Feaver and on International Security’s winter 2011/12 issue

Maybe it is not so bleak on the academy-policy gap front
Foreign Policy’s Shadow Government blog
January 26, 2012
Commentary by: Peter Feaver, professor of political science and public policy and Bass Fellow at Duke University and former International Security Program research fellow
Cited: Michael Beckley, International Security Program research fellow

Topic: Kudos for International Security

“A favorite topic for FP bloggers is the so-called gap between practicing academics and practicing policymakers. I have weighed in, but see also contributions from Dan Drezner (here or here and Steve Walt).

It is an important topic (at least to “yakademics” like me — I don’t sense it has quite the burning appeal for my non-academic Shadow Government teammates) and well worth the focused attention it has received. There are several excellent programs designed to help bridge it, including one run by Eliot Cohen and Tom Keaney at SAIS, another by my Duke colleague Bruce Jentleson and Berkeley’s Steve Weber and American U’s Jim Goldgeier, and a third by Dick Betts at Columbia. There is probably room for more such efforts.

But at the risk of undercutting the urgent language used in grant applications, I think it is only fair to point out that the situation may not be irredeemably bleak. I just had the pleasure of reading through the most recent issue of International Security, the top academic journal in the field of security studies and one of the highest-impact journals in the entire discipline of political science. I was struck by how policy relevant the issue was, without sacrificing in any way academic rigor. Mind you, the articles were too long and perhaps on the academic side to make the reading list of, say, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. But policymakers would benefit from understanding the arguments contained therein and foreign policy specialists inside the administration would benefit from digging into some of the articles more closely.”

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