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發信人: Noam (hermit)    看板: politics
日期: Sun Apr  8 15:13:12 2007
標題: FYI

Inside the Ivory Tower

By Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, Michael J. Tierney

Foreign Policy 

March/April 2007 

Professors of international relations counsel the leaders of today and mold 
the policymakers of tomorrow. But what do they think about the most pressing 
foreign-policy issues facing the United States? In our second exclusive 
survey, FP steps inside the ivory tower. 

Diplomats and politicians often deride academics' lack of firsthand experience 
when it comes to the practice of international relations. Cold warrior Paul 
Nitze once said that much of what is taught to political science students is 
"of limited value, if not counterproductive, as a guide to the conduct of 
actual policy." For many policymakers, the distance from which scholars view 
the political process is a distinct disadvantage: Academics are simply out of 
touch with the realities of a rapidly changing international landscape. 

Yet that distance can also have an upside. The view from the academy allows 
scholars to reflect dispassionately on vexing foreign-policy problems, discern 
underlying patterns in state behavior, anticipate future threats, and forecast 
the consequences of different policy options. Academics can also remain 
above the political fray, providing counsel to current policymakers and molding 
the minds of the next generation of leaders. In our second biennial survey, 
we pull back the curtain on what the academy thinks about some of the most 
pressing foreign-policy issues facing the United States today. 

For the survey, we attempted to contact all international relations faculty 
at 1,199 four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The schools 
include all national research universities, master's-granting institutions, and 
liberal arts colleges identified by U.S. News & World Report, as well as 
seven military colleges. When the results were tallied, 1,112 scholars, more 
than 41 percent of all international relations professors in the United 
States, participated in our study. 

What emerges is a picture of remarkable, though incomplete, consensus on the 
critical foreign-policy issues of our time. Across the ideological spectrum, 
international relations scholars agree far more on current policy and future 
threats than they disagree. This consensus is particularly striking on the war 
in Iraq: Eighty-nine percent of scholars believe that the war will ultimately 
decrease U.S. security. Eighty-seven percent consider the conflict unjust, 
and 85 percent are pessimistic about the chances of achieving a stable 
democracy in Iraq in the next 10–15 years. Nearly all those who responded—96 
percent—view the United States as less respected today than in the past, a 
sentiment no doubt heavily influenced by the current war. Unsurprisingly then, 
professors give U.S. President George W. Bush very low marks for his foreign-
policy acumen. A scant 1 percent rank Bush among the most effective 
foreign-policy presidents of the past century. 

It is possible, of course, that such consensus derives from a common set of 
ideological blinders. Consistent with the public perception of academics, 70 
percent of international relations scholars describe themselves as liberal, 
whereas only 13 percent consider themselves conservative. But this liberal bent 
alone does not explain the scholarly consensus. Majorities of both groups 
believe the war in Iraq will ultimately harm U.S. security. Liberal and 
conservative professors are similarly like-minded when it comes to determining 
which presidents had the most effective foreign policies. 

International relations professors also demonstrate remarkable agreement when 
it comes to future challenges. When asked to identify the three most 
important foreign-policy issues the United States will face during the next 10 
years, scholars overwhelmingly point to international terrorism (50 
percent), proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (45 percent), and the 
rise of China (40 percent). Significant minorities consider armed conflict in 
the Middle East (34 percent), failed states (30 percent), and global warming 
(29 percent) to be top concerns. Surprisingly, given the periodic alarm raised 
in the media about the threat of a major pandemic, only 11 percent of academics 
deem it to be a pressing foreign-policy issue, placing it behind both 
global poverty (19 percent) and resource scarcity (14 percent). 

At the same time, international relations scholars' research may be 
shortsighted, given their own assessment of future foreign-policy challenges. 
Sixty-two percent of respondents believe the Middle East is the most 
strategically important region for the United States today, and two thirds 
report that East Asia will be the most important strategic region in 20 years. 
Yet only 7 percent of scholars identify the Middle East and just 8 percent 
name East Asia as the primary focus of their research. Occupants of the ivory 
tower, it seems, suffer from one of the disadvantages inherent in being so far 
removed from the policy process: They can be slow to respond to the emergence 
of new threats in the international system. If they hope to get a better 
audience with policymakers in the future, academics must do more than simply 
anticipate future challenges. They must engage the issues that drive policy 
beyond the ivory tower.

Daniel Maliniak is research associate in international relations, Amy Oakes is 
assistant professor of government, Susan Peterson is professor of government 
and dean for educational policy in arts and sciences, and Michael J. Tierney is 
assistant professor of government at the College of William and Mary. 
Complete survey results can be found here 
(http://www.wm.edu/irtheoryandpractice/trip/papers.php).



 
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* Origin: 中山大學 West BBS-西子灣站 * From: 140.117.110.224 [已通過認證]
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* Origin: 中山大學 West BBS-西子灣站 * From: 140.117.110.224 [已通過認證]


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