Saturday, August 20, 2005

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So what do international relations specialists think?

After being in a news black hole for a week, I'll be getting back into blogging a bit slowly.

However, here's something for the academics in the audience: last year a group of IR profs put together a survey of what other IR profs thought about the field, current affairs, etc.

The preliminary results can be found in this paper by Susan Peterson and Michael J. Tierney, with Daniel Maliniak entitled, "Teaching and Research Practices, Views on the Discipline, and Policy Attitudes of International Relations Faculty at U.S. Colleges and Universities"

Some of the interesting topline results:

1) Teaching moves more slowly than research. Even though scholars recognize that contructivism is a much more active research program than Mrxism, the latter is taught more frequently in introductory IR classes.

[This is because the academy is all lefty, right?--ed. Well, the survey has the median IR prof between "liberal" and "slightly liberal", so there's a small grain of truth to that. However, I suspect this has more to do with academics being small "c" conservative, and therefore reluctant to change syllabi that have been entrenched for years.

2) "Eighty-seven percent of respondents—exactly the same percentage in the previous question who reported that the war in Iraq will decrease U.S. security—report that the Iraq war has hurt the war on terrorism."

3) "Despite the fact that most respondents believe that the war in Iraq has hurt US security and the war on terrorism, few (17 percent) believe that terrorists are better able to attack the United States today than before 9/11."

4) "The foreign policy consensus among international relations scholars observed in the previous questions about Iraq extends to the issue of free trade. More than three-fourths of all respondents report that free trade agreements have been a good thing for the United States, while only 7 percent report that they have been a bad thing."

Go check it out.

posted by Dan on 08.20.05 at 06:07 PM


Let us face facts.

The left means to destroy our country and
replace it with something more to their

Don't get me wrong. As long as they restrict
themselves to the ballot box it is an absolutely
legal and fair thing to do.

The LLL and the MSM should not, however, be
surprised that a large majority of Americans
disagree with that point of view.

Which accounts for the continual decline in
the number of leftists elected to Congress and
State Legislatures.

Most of what is taught in 'history' classes
these days is crap. And the students realize
it. They will parrot back what their Marxist
professors tell them.

And then go on to vote Republican after they
get their graduation certificate.

So it doesn't matter that the views of the
international relations professoriate have
no basis in reality. The kids aren't buying
the load of manure they are trying to peddle.

posted by: Ted on 08.20.05 at 06:07 PM [permalink]

Q: (70) In general, how should the United States determine its foreign policy?

A: It should be based on both the national interest of the United States and the interests of U.S. allies

R: 472 responses (59 percent) agree.

This survey is interesting but I hope future surveys will break down the above question (and others like it). The above answer tells us nothing about the predisposition of faculty should US national interests and the interests of US allies collide. What position to take in a collision, of course, would depend on the issue. But even then it would be a useful to give faculty an opportunity to agree with that caveat.

The survey defends low common denominators on the grounds that they are necessary so that faculty views can be compared to the results of surveys of the American people. But this only raises the question of such surveys of the general population can't look for higher common denominators as well.

posted by: David Billington on 08.20.05 at 06:07 PM [permalink]

My last sentence above: "But this only raises the question of such surveys of the general population can't look for higher common denominators as well."

Sorry, this should read: "But this only raises the question of why such surveys of the general population can't look for higher common denominators as well."

posted by: David Billington on 08.20.05 at 06:07 PM [permalink]

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