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"IR Theory and the Core–Periphery Structure of Global IR: Lessons from Citation Analysis"

Ein Artikel von Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse, Dr. Wiebke Wemheuer-Vogelaar und Dr. Frank Havemann, erschienen im International Studies Review. 

News vom 23.07.2022

International Studies Review, Volume 24, Issue 3, September 2022.

Veröffentlicht am 22. Juli 2022.


"This article contributes to two debates about international relations (IR) as a discipline: first, how global is IR, and how is it structured? Second, what is the state of theory in IR? We conducted (co-) citation analyses of both Web of Science (WoS) and—for the first time— non-WoS publications from Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. With regard to the first question, we find that global IR resembles a core–periphery structure as a “hub and spoke” system whereby transatlantic core nodes are interconnected to each other and to some periphery nodes, while the periphery nodes are connected to the core but not to each other. IR scholarship in the periphery quotes the transatlantic theory cluster but is not linked to each other, not even in the same region. Knowledge produced in the periphery has to go through the transatlantic core in order to be recognized globally. As to the transatlantic core, we identify two major (co-) citation clusters: one committed to IR theory-building across issue areas from a variety of perspectives and the other focused on security studies with a strong emphasis on quantitative methods. With regard to the second question, global IR hangs together through references to the IR theory cluster consisting of North American and European authors who appear to define what IR theory is. Scholars in the periphery refer to this transatlantic IR theory cluster when engaging in theory-building. IR theories have become rather diverse and pluralistic, even in the core. While scholars still refer to the big “isms,” they use them around the globe in a synthesizing manner."

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