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Bridging the Theory-Policy Gap   in Foreign and Security Policy An idiosyncratic view Stephan De Spiegeleire Senior Scient...
The gap Knowledge management
Policy v Theory – The Market Today:  Demand <ul><li>Government –foresight (what might/will happen), analysis (what’s happe...
Policy v Theory – The Market Today:  Supply <ul><li>Academia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture  very different from demand sid...
Benchmarking Think Tanks (1 of 2) Funding Partisan Scope Basic MO Size Profit Fixed Partisan Tactical Opinion Small Profit...
Benchmarking Think Tanks (2 of 2) Methodology Technology Focus Personality Network Home-market Weak Unimportant Security I...
Policy v Theory –  Transmission mechanisms <ul><li>Through money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><...
Summary slide <ul><li>Demand side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant demand – both manifest and latent </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Recent changes <ul><li>‘ the end of the line’ – breaking through stovepipes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On  demand-side </li></u...
We need a (European?) lubricant... EU ISS? Knowledge management
Policy v Theory <ul><li>Small(ish) literature on this (see biblio at the end) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong US (/UK) -bias ...
Biblio (1/2) <ul><li>Andres, G. J, and J. A Beecher. 1989. “Applied Political Science: Bridging the Gap or a Bridge Too Fa...
Biblio (2/2) <ul><li>Kruzel, Joseph. 1994b. “More a Chasm Than a Gap, but Do Scholars Want to Bridge It? Review of Bridgin...
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DIIS 2010 - Bridging the Gap

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Bridging the gap between theory and policy in foreign, security and defense studies

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  • Have been living in the gap since at least 1989 (RAND/UCLA) Quite personal and idiosyncratic take on this, influenced by my own experiences at RAND, SWP, ISS/(W)EU, now 10 years in Holland (uniquely propitious microclimate for this, certainly in Europe, even though it’s still far from perfect) and my observations over the past 20 years Foreign policy writ large – beyond the stovepipes, comprehensive approach =&gt; foreign and security policy Second attempt at this – seminar at WEU-ISS in 99
  • Integrative
  • There IS a window, but will not happen automatically; need for a lubricant (EU-ISS ideally placed for this)
  • Transcript of "DIIS 2010 - Bridging the Gap"

    1. 1. Bridging the Theory-Policy Gap in Foreign and Security Policy An idiosyncratic view Stephan De Spiegeleire Senior Scientist The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies DIIS seminar &quot;Academia and Foreign Policy Making: Bridging the Gap“ Copenhagen, April 26
    2. 2. The gap Knowledge management
    3. 3. Policy v Theory – The Market Today: Demand <ul><li>Government –foresight (what might/will happen), analysis (what’s happening), policy analysis (what can we do) and evaluation (how did we do) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quite established in some countries (‘Anglosaxon’ model (> (parts of) Scandinavia + NL) / ‘FR’ model) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fairly ‘liquid‘ market (but now under pressure) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly at the operational and tactical level; small ‘strategic’ market emerging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many feedback loops (across all levels) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bias towards hard sciences – strengthened since end of Cold War, but recent (albeit timid) correction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homeland security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging rapidly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taking after Defence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult customer (though depends how interaction with theory is structured – e.g. NIC in US) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Money increasing, but not making up for decreases in defence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign affairs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Little money </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very different culture (or tradition) – with Development Assistance being (somewhat) different, but also segmented </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increasingly the ‘odd-man out’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-executive branch – in most countries little (solvent) demand (exc. Finland) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Private sector – explosive demand recently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philanthropy – these days relatively small player in IR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press – typically unpaid </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Policy v Theory – The Market Today: Supply <ul><li>Academia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture very different from demand side (mindset, questions asked, perception of time, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives dysfunctional from policy point of view (Nye , Jervis) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think-tanks [see next slides for some key differences] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture closest to government (but depending on funding mechanisms) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>driven by policy, money important but not only driver </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>trend towards (healthier) business models </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives (but depending on funding mechanisms) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More closely aligned than academia, but still ‘multiple advocacy’ (where allowed) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Still mostly national </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Consultancies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Driven (mostly) by profit, getting policy ‘right’ less important) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives – most closely aligned </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Networks (mostly informal) </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals (‘grosses têtes’ – problem: no building of cumulative, transferable knowledge) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Benchmarking Think Tanks (1 of 2) Funding Partisan Scope Basic MO Size Profit Fixed Partisan Tactical Opinion Small Profit Market Non-Partisan Strategic Evidence Large Non-Profit ?
    6. 6. Benchmarking Think Tanks (2 of 2) Methodology Technology Focus Personality Network Home-market Weak Unimportant Security Important Small Weak Key Important Comprehensive Irrelevant In-House Strong
    7. 7. Policy v Theory – Transmission mechanisms <ul><li>Through money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Project-based (becoming the norm) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indirect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Through some ‘accountants’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Through ‘science and technology’/’innovation’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Through ‘education’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Through people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural – very little (certainly in IS, better on IPE) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Political’ level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Revolving door’ (politics) – mostly US-specific, some scattered examples throughout Europe </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Civil service level – mostly disincentives on both sides </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Through ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At seminars/conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through media (directly through OpEd pages, tv/radio work; indirectly e.g. Economist) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through political parties (research bureaus) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informally, through (‘old boys’) networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Through international organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably most elegant AND impressive (IMF, WB, OECD) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But NOT on foreign policy or security </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Summary slide <ul><li>Demand side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant demand – both manifest and latent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quite fragmented / stovepiped </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly unbalanced (e.g. more demand for ‘hard’ than ‘soft’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater ‘value for money’ pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Interface’ weak </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supply side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Great potential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equally fragmented / stovepiped </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big incentive problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Interface’ weak </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transmission belts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall fairly weak (self-reinforcing weakness) </li></ul></ul><ul><li> Overall trend – gap big, currently still widening on both sides of the Atlantic </li></ul>
    9. 9. Recent changes <ul><li>‘ the end of the line’ – breaking through stovepipes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On demand-side </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Uncertainty more acknowledged  ‘analysis and anticipation’ function more central now (FR Livre Blanc, UK Green paper, NL Verkenningen) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased need (also thus perceived) for ‘comprehensive’ solutions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Comprehensive approach’ in failed/failing states for 3D </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Human terrain mapping’ in defence </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Terrorism </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on resilience in homeland security </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased demand for new ‘soft’ metrics in private sector (banks, (re-)insurance) for things like political risk </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trend towards (new and also more integrated) forms of) capability-based planning (e.g. JO2030) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in financing (e.g. new ‘consolidated’ budgets) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>[BUT also the fiscal tsunami!!!] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On supply-side </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(largest) defence research organizations hiring more broadly – also social scientists (starting to rectify the bias) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policy relevance becoming more accepted again in academia (?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some new emerging paradigms (complexity, network theory) cutting across academic stovepipes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Foundations might be getting back in the game (del Rosso, 2009) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New more ‘market driven’ think tanks that are jumping in the gap </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. We need a (European?) lubricant... EU ISS? Knowledge management
    11. 11. Policy v Theory <ul><li>Small(ish) literature on this (see biblio at the end) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong US (/UK) -bias </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy on pathos and prescription </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Light on (systematic) empirics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My personal (obviously entirely anecdotal and idiosyncratic) takeaways from ISA 2010: the gap between IR and the policy world is still widening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little time for research (publishing more important than adding substantive value in knowledge) - incentives lie elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very fragmented (sub-critical) efforts (mostly single-authored papers; few research teams with critical mass; and even those teams produce single or 2-author papers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quite disconnected – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From other disciplines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From actual empirical record (often just scratch the surface) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From policymaking (still disincentivized within academia) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quite conservative in method (where are the new methods - graph data, data/text mining (useable for creating large new datasets!), viz, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole areas just missing – e.g. Little on actual day-to-day ‘management’ of international relations (// business management literature) – both at national and international levels </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Biblio (1/2) <ul><li>Andres, G. J, and J. A Beecher. 1989. “Applied Political Science: Bridging the Gap or a Bridge Too Far?.” PS: Political Science and Politics 22(3): 636–639. </li></ul><ul><li>Buger, C., and T. Villumsen. 2007. “Beyond the gap: relevance, fields of practice and the securitizing consequences of (democratic peace) research.” Journal of International Relations and Development 10(4): 417–448. </li></ul><ul><li>Del Rosso Jr., Stephen J. 2009. “Change Foundations Should Believe In.” Chronicle of Philanthropy 21(10): 30. </li></ul><ul><li>Egeberg, M. 2003. “How bureaucratic structure matters: An organizational perspective.” Handbook of public administration : 116–26. </li></ul><ul><li>Eriksson, Johan, and Giampiero Giacomello. 2006. “The Information Revolution, Security, and International Relations: (IR)relevant Theory?.” International Political Science Review 27(3): 221-244. </li></ul><ul><li>Feaver, Peter D. 1999. “The Theory-Policy Debate in Political Science and Nuclear Proliferation.” National Security Studies Quarterly 5(3). </li></ul><ul><li>Frieden, Jeffry. 2005. “International Relations as a Social Science: Rigor and Relevance.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 600(1): 136-156. </li></ul><ul><li>Galvin, John. 1994. “Breaking through and Being Heard Review of Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy.” Mershon International Studies Review 38(1): 173. </li></ul><ul><li>George, A. L. 1997. “Knowledge for statecraft: the challenge for political science and history.” International Security 22(1): 44–52. </li></ul><ul><li>George, Alexander. 1996. Bridging the gap : theory and practice in foreign policy . 3rd ed. Washington DC: United States Inst. of Peace. </li></ul><ul><li>George, Alexander. 1994. “The Two Cultures of Academia and Policy-Making: Bridging the Gap.” Political Psychology 15(1): 143. </li></ul><ul><li>George, Alexander, and United States Institute of Peace. 1993. Bridging the gap : theory and practice in foreign policy . Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Haass, Richard N. 2002. “Think Tanks and U.S. Foreign Policy: A Policy-Maker's Perspective.” US Foreign Policy Agenda 7(3). </li></ul><ul><li>Hill, Christopher. 1994. “Academic international relations : the siren song of policy relevance.” In Two worlds of international relations : academics, practitioners and the trade in ideas , New York: Routledge, p. 3-28. </li></ul><ul><li>Hill, Christopher, and Pamela Beshoff. 1994. Two worlds of international relations : academics, practitioners and the trade in ideas . New York: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Hudson, V. M, and C. S Vore. 1995. “Foreign policy analysis yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” Mershon International Studies Review 39(2): 209–238. </li></ul><ul><li>Jentleson, Bruce. 2002. “The Need for Praxis: Bringing Policy Relevance Back In.” International Security 26(4): 169. </li></ul><ul><li>Jervis, Robert. 2008. “Bridges, Barriers, and Gaps: Research and Policy.” Political Psychology 29(4): 571-592. </li></ul><ul><li>Kolodziej, Edward. 1994. “What Is the Challenge and Will We Accept It? Review of Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy.” Mershon International Studies Review 38(1): 175. </li></ul><ul><li>Kruzel, J. 1994. “More a Chasm than A Gap, But Do Scholars Want to Bridge It?.” International Studies Quarterly 38: 179. </li></ul><ul><li>Kruzel, Joseph. 1994a. “More a Chasm Than a Gap, but Do Scholars Want to Bridge It? Review of Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy.” Mershon International Studies Review 38(1): 179. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Biblio (2/2) <ul><li>Kruzel, Joseph. 1994b. “More a Chasm Than a Gap, but Do Scholars Want to Bridge It? Review of Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy.” Mershon International Studies Review 38(1): 179. </li></ul><ul><li>Lepgold, Joseph. 2001. Beyond the ivory tower : international relations theory and the issue of policy relevance . New York: Columbia University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Lepgold, Joseph. 1998. “Is Anyone Listening? International Relations Theory and the Problem of Policy Relevance.” Political Science Quarterly 113(1): 43. </li></ul><ul><li>Levy, Jack. 2007. “Qualitative Methods and Cross-Method Dialogue in Political Science.” Comparative Political Studies 40(2): 196-214. </li></ul><ul><li>Lupia, Arthur. 2000. “Evaluating Political Science Research: Information for Buyers and Sellers.” PS: Political Science and Politics 33(1): 7. </li></ul><ul><li>Lyons, G. M. 1986. “The Study of International Relations in Great Britain: Further Connections.” World Politics 38(4): 626–645. </li></ul><ul><li>Maliniak, D et al. 2009. “THE FP INDEX - Inside the Ivory Tower: Our third exclusive survey of international relations professors reveals they're worried about climate change, Russia's rise, and their own irrelevance.” FOREIGN POLICY -WASHINGTON- (171): 84-87. </li></ul><ul><li>Maliniak, Daniel et al. 2007. “THE FP INDEX - Inside the Ivory Tower - In our second exclusive survey, FP takes the pulse of hundreds of America's top political scientists. Find out which schools are best when it comes to studying.” Foreign policy. (159): 62. </li></ul><ul><li>Newsom, David. 1996. “Foreign Policy and Academia.” Foreign Policy (101): 52. </li></ul><ul><li>Nincic, M., and J. Lepgold. 2000. Being useful: policy relevance and international relations theory . Univ of Michigan Pr. </li></ul><ul><li>Nincic, Miroslav. 2000. Being useful : policy relevance and international relations theory . Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Nitze, Paul. 1993. Tension between opposites : reflections on the practice and theory of politics . New York ;Toronto ;New York: Scribner ;;Maxwell Macmillan Canada ;;Maxwell Macmillan International. </li></ul><ul><li>Nye, Jr. 2008. “Bridging the Gap between Theory and Policy.” Political Psychology 29(4): 593-603. </li></ul><ul><li>Peterson, Susan, Michael J Tierney, and Daniel Maliniak. 2005. “THE FP INDEX - Inside the Ivory Tower - FP takes an exclusive peek inside the top colleges and universities, where international relations thinkers are molding the next generation of scholars and.” Foreign policy. (151): 58. </li></ul><ul><li>Shapiro, Susan P. 2005. “Agency theory.” Annual Review of Sociology 31(1): 263-284. </li></ul><ul><li>Siverson, Randolph. 2000. “A Glass Half-Full? No, but Perhaps a Glass Filling: The Contributions of International Politics Research to Policy.” PS: Political Science and Politics 33(1): 59. </li></ul><ul><li>Wallace, William. 1996. “Truth and Power, Monks and Technocrats: Theory and Practice in International Relations.” Review of International Studies 22(3): 301. </li></ul><ul><li>Walt, S. M. 2005. “The relationship between theory and policy in international relations.”. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilbanks, T. J, and R. Lee. 1985. “Policy analysis in theory and practice.” Large-Scale Energy Projects: Assessment of Regional Consequences : 273–303. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson, Ernest. 2007. “Is There Really a Scholar-Practitioner Gap? An Institutional Analysis.” PS: Political Science & Politics 40(1): 147-151. </li></ul><ul><li>Zelikow, P. 1994. “Foreign policy engineering: from theory to practice and back again.” International Security 18(4): 143–171. </li></ul>
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