Impact in International Affairs: The Quest for World-Leading Research, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Impact in International Affairs

The Quest for World-Leading Research, 1st Edition

By James Gow, Henry Redwood


160 pages

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Hardback: 9780367902032
pub: 2020-08-12
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This book examines how and to what extent academic research in politics and international studies has had 'impact' — in doing so, it also considers what might characterise ‘world leading’ research impact.

International Relations was always meant to have impact – it was intended to make a difference in the world, when the subject was formally founded to understand and prevent war in 1919. This volume addresses the concept of ‘impact’ and offers a typology of the term — instrumental, conceptual, capacity building and procedural. The authors examine 111 impact case studies in the UK Research Excellence Framework (2014) that were classified as having achieved the highest level of evaluation, and they identify eight characteristics that mark ‘world leading’ impact. The book concludes that process, public and media engagement are previously underestimated aspects of impact in official approaches. It further demonstrates that achieving the top levels of impact in international relations is possible, but that factors such as the nature of the subject, the approach of researchers and mean-spiritedness in the peer review process inhibited this.

This book will be of much interest to students of politics and international studies, as well as educational research and policymakers.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Impact

3. Towards a Typology

4. International Affairs

5. 4* Impact — World Leading

6. The 8 Characteristics of World Leading — 4* Impact: 1-5

7. The 8 Characteristics of World Leading — 4* Impact`: 6-8

8. Conclusion


About the Authors

James Gow is Professor of International Peace and Security at King’s College London, UK.

Henry Redwood is Lecturer in International Relations at King’s College London, UK.

About the Series

Contemporary Security Studies

This series focuses on new research across the spectrum of international peace and security, in an era where each year throws up multiple examples of conflicts that present new security challenges in the world around them.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General