272 pages | 1 B/W Illus.
This book draws on extensive ethnographic research undertaken in Russia to show how the wider sociopolitical context – the political system, relationship between the state and academia as well as the contours of the public debate – shapes knowledge about international politics and influences scholars’ engagement with the policy world.
Combining an in-depth study of the International Relations discipline in Russia with a robust methodological framework, the book demonstrates that context not only bears on epistemic and disciplinary practices but also conditions scholars’ engagement with the wider public and policymakers. This original study lends robust sociological foundations to the debate about knowledge in International Relations and the social sciences more broadly. In particular, the book questions contemporary thinking about the relationship between knowledge and politics by situating the university within, rather than abstracting it from the political setting. The monograph benefits from a comprehensive engagement with Russian-language literature in the Sociology of Knowledge and critical reading of International Relations scholarship published in Russia.
This text will be of interest to scholars and students in International Relations, Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, the Sociology of Knowledge, Science and Technology Studies and Higher Education Studies. It will appeal to those researching the knowledge-policy nexus and knowledge production practices.
"How do we 'know' what we know about international politics? What social, political and institutional forces structure imaginations of the international - of policy practitioners or indeed of academics? This important book - the first detailed analysis of the politics of knowledge about the international in Russia - contributes to the important new literature in the social sciences and International Relations on the politics of knowledge production. Much is at stake: not only our understandings of Russian responses in international politics but also what imaginations of the international more generally 'do' for analysts, states or other interests. Also, crucially, questions of academic freedom and lack thereof, often ignored, are raised to our attention. This study will be an important reference point - and a point of provocation - for all analysts of Russia, International Relations and the Sociology of Knowledge." — Milja Kurki, Aberystwyth University, U.K
"The book is a very detailed and comprehensive analysis of the impact of political and institutional context on knowledge production using IR in Russia as a case study. I greatly appreciate the combination of familiarity with the voluminous literature, in-depth engagement with the complex realm of the Russian academia and evidence gathered from fieldwork and interviews. The book should be welcomed by scholars of Russian studies and Science and Technology Studies." — Vladimir Gel’man, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland
1. The elephant in the room: the sociopolitical context of IR knowledge-making
2. State–society relations
3. Contested heritage: Soviet IR and the turbulent transition
4. Epistemic practices
5. The uses of knowledge
Historically, the International Relations (IR) discipline has established its boundaries, issues, and theories based upon Western experience and traditions of thought. This series explores the role of geocultural factors, institutions, and academic practices in creating the concepts, epistemologies, and methodologies through which IR knowledge is produced. This entails identifying alternatives for thinking about the "international" that are more in tune with local concerns and traditions outside the West. But it also implies provincializing Western IR and empirically studying the practice of producing IR knowledge at multiple sites within the so-called ‘West’.
We welcome book proposals in areas such as:
Series Editors: Arlene B. Tickner, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, David Blaney, Macalester College, USA and Inanna Hamati-Ataya, University of Cambridge, UK
Founding Editor: Ole Wæver, University of Copenhagen, Denmark