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


DFG (grant RI 798/11-1)

01.07.2017 — 31.12.2020

Global Pathways is a collaboration of scholars from the sociology of science, bibliometrics, and International Relations (IR). We contribute to the sociology of science by mapping the global diffusion of knowledge in this field of the social sciences, while simultaneously adding empirical evidence to recent debates about "global IR".

In particular, we ask two interrelated sets of questions:

  1. How are scientific communities in IR structured, and how is this structure maintained?
  2. How does this structure affect the diffusion of knowledge within IR? What are the mechanisms and what are the effects?

Project publications

Background information

Interdisciplinary set-up

Global Pathways is a collaborative and international endeavor. The core team consists of Berlin-based researchers from different disciplines. In addition, we are grateful for support from the Teaching, Research, and International Policy Project (TRIP) at the College of William & Mary (USA). We also collaborate with Prof. Takahiro Yamada at Nagoya University (Japan). Last but not least, the project would not have been possible without the many brilliant student assistants that worked with us in Williamsburg, Nagoya, and here in Berlin.


Global Pathways started as a spin-off of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project at the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia). Between 2013 and 2017, the project focused on the advancement of student research in the study of global IR scholarship. During this early phase, large portions of our datasets on Chinese and Latin American IR were developed. During that time, the project received funding from the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, the Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence, and the Reves Center for International Studies (all located at the College of William and Mary).

In Spring 2017, "Global Pathways" moved its center of operations from Williamsburg to Berlin. With support of our current DFG grant and a collaboration with the Kolleg-Forschergruppe “The Transformative Power of Europe,” we have built a multi-years project (2016-2020) characterized by a larger geographical coverage and the application of a substantial theoretical framework rooted in IR and the sociology of science.


Many thanks to our excellent research assistants and coders at Freie Universität Berlin, the College of William & Mary, and Kwansei Gakuin University: Nathassia Arrúa, Alessia Barbanti, Hannah Berk, Sebastian Breuer, Olivia Ding, Jack Galloway, Sydney Guo, Valentin Handrick, Gesche Hullmann, Sonia Li, Lixue Lin-Siedler, Felix Mattes, Yuna Miyoshi, Yusuke Nanase, Sarah Neugebauer, Mariana Paulino, Mingjie Peng, Jonas Richter, Saskia Röhle, and Arianna Talaie. This project would not have been possible without their contributions.

We are deeply grateful to the TRIP team for their advice, shared data, and continued support.