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New Associated Project: Global Pathways - Knowledge Diffusion in International Relations Research (DFG-funded)

Jun 15, 2017

Global Pathways, Image Credit: Global Pathways

Global Pathways, Image Credit: Global Pathways

The Global Pathways project is a collaboration of scholars from the sociology of science, bibliometrics, and International Relations (IR) based in Germany, the United States, and Japan. The aim of “Global Pathways” is to examine whether and how the social and topical structure of scientific communities affects the diffusion of knowledge within and among these communities in the field of IR.

In particular, we want to analyze how various communities relate to each other and identify the mechanisms of knowledge diffusion that operate within and between them (e.g. socialization, information channeling, and innovation). We contribute to the sociology of science by mapping and explaining the global diffusion of knowledge in one field of the social sciences for the first time, while simultaneously adding empirical evidence to debates in IR about, for example, its stratification into an allegedly “Western” core and “non-Western” peripheries.

The project takes its theoretical departures from Social Identity Theories (SIT), on the one hand, and diffusion approaches, on the other. Based on these two approaches, we ask two interrelated sets of questions.

1. How are scientific communities within a particular field of the social sciences structured and how is this structure maintained?

2. How does the structure of scientific communities affect the diffusion of knowledge within this field of the social sciences? What are the mechanisms and what are the effects?

The project uses a multi-method design, integrating data from a multinational survey of IR scholars, journal content, and author-CV analysis as well as conference observations and interviews with key stakeholders in the process of knowledge diffusion (“knowledge brokers”). We will also collect data on citation patterns to measure both the structuration of IR communities and the patterns of knowledge diffusion. In contrast to past citation-based studies – in and beyond IR – we will not rely exclusively on the Web of Science (WoS) for data collection purposes but will collect citations information that goes beyond the Web’s core collection and register it in a new database that combines WoS with non-WoS data. That way we cover information flows from and to WoS and non-WoS journals, creating a uniquely complete map of scholarly communication for the field of IR.

“Global Pathways” is a three-years project (2016-2019), directed by Prof. Thomas Risse (Freie Universität Berlin), furthermore investigated by Dr. Jochen Gläser (Technische Universität Berlin)/ Dr. Frank Havemann (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and executed by Wiebke Wemheuer-Vogelaar (Freie Universität Berlin).

Click here for more information about the project.