The International Studies Association: Blogging the IR/IPE Divide

I’m attending the International Studies Association meeting in San Francisco this week. One of the highlights of this year’s ISA was the ISA Bloggers Reception, at which the first winners of the Duck of Minerva’s IR blog awards were announced. The winners, all outstanding blogs definitely worth following, were:

The Most Promising New Blog was awarded to Political Violence @ a Glance, which was also recognized as runner up for best blog entry for “Is Wartime Rape Declining on a Global Scale? We Don’t Know—And It Doesn’t Matter.” 

Best Blog Entry went to John M. Hobson, blogging at The Disorder of Things, for “Eurocentrism, Racism: What’s in a Word?” 

Daniel Drezner received the award for best individual blog, while at The Disorder of Things, was named the best group blog.

The event was a great deal of fun, and I particularly enjoyed being able to put faces to all the blogs I regularly read. But the awards also highlighted a fundamental—and I think problematic—divide in the International Studies community: the division between the International Relations/International Security and the International Political Economy communities. As an IPE scholar, I was struck that none of what I consider to be the best IPE blogs were even nominated for the Duck’s awards. And at the ISA more generally, I’ve been struck by the degree to which the two communities rarely interact with one another.

And yet we recognize intuitively that the two fields are closely connected. Just as the major issues of our day—climate change, the global financial crisis, terrorism, political instability, ecological crises, and so on—cannot really be understood, let alone solved from a single disciplinary perspective, so too can we not hope to understand the dynamics of global politics from either the IR or IPE subfields alone. 

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