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Political-Science Lab Leaks: a Symposium

August 30, 2021

Today we’re kicking off a new symposium on Paul Musgrave‘s Foreign Policy article, “Political Science Has Its Own Lab Leaks.” In it, Musgrave likens academic disciplines to labs; academic theories that exercise political influence, in his metaphor, are like viruses. Perhaps, his piece suggests, international-relations scholars should exercise a bit more caution in their drive to “bridge the gap” between theory and policy.

The contributors to the symposium include scholars who share an interest in, and experience with, the relationship between international-relations scholarship and the policy world. But they have very different perspectives on the matter.

The symposium starts today with a contribution from James Goldgeier. Tomorrow, Erica De Bruin weights in. On Wednesday we hear from Ido Oren, on Thursday from Rebecca Adler-Nissen, and on Friday from Tarak Barkawi. Paul Musgrave responds to their comments on Saturday.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.