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Scholars, Policymakers, and International Affairs

Finding Common Cause

Scholars, Policymakers, and International Affairs shows how to build mutually beneficial connections between the worlds of ideas and action, analysis and policy. Drawing on contributions from top international scholars with policy experience in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, and Latin America, as well as senior policymakers throughout the Americas, Abraham F. Lowenthal and Mariano E. Bertucci make the case that scholars can both strengthen their research and contribute to improved policies while protecting academia from the risks of active participation in the policy process.

Many scholars believe that policymakers are more interested in processes and outcomes than in understanding causality. Many policymakers believe that scholars are absorbed in abstract and self-referential debates and that they are primarily interested in crafting theories (and impressing other scholars) rather than developing solutions to pressing policy issues.

The contributors to this book confront this gap head-on. They do not deny the obstacles to fruitful interaction between scholars and policymakers, but, drawing on their own experience, discuss how these obstacles can be and have been overcome. They present case studies that illustrate how scholars have helped reduce income inequality, promote democratic governance, improve gender equity, target international financial sanctions, manage the Mexico–U.S. border, and enhance inter-American cooperation. These success stories are balanced by studies on why academic analysts have failed to achieve much positive impact on counternarcotics and citizen security policies. The editors’ astute conclusion identifies best practices and provides concrete recommendations to government agencies, international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and funding sources, as well as to senior university officials, academic departments and centers, think tanks, established scholars, junior faculty, and graduate students.

Clearly written and thoughtfully organized, this innovative book provides analytic insights and practical wisdom for those who want to understand how to build more effective connections between the worlds of thought and action.

About the Authors

Abraham F. Lowenthal is professor emeritus of the University of Southern California, president emeritus of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, and an adjunct professor at Brown University. He was founding director of both the Inter-American Dialogue and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. Mariano E. Bertucci is a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, Tulane University.

Endorsements

With honorable exceptions, those who conduct foreign policy and those who do research on international relations rarely learn from each other. This meaty and well-crafted book offers innovative suggestions, based on the experiences of scholars with strong policy interests and officials with keen analytic skills, to strengthen both practice and theory by building more fruitful connections between academia and the policy world.

- Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Former U.S. National Security Advisor

Most foreign policy practitioners in the United States and elsewhere seem to avoid contact with academic theory, and scholars generally reciprocate; indeed this gap has widened in recent years. Lowenthal and Bertucci are right to argue that this gap can and should be bridged, to benefit both theory and practice. This book provides thoughtful, practical and timely suggestions for doing so.

- Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Harvard University, author of The Future of Power

Lucid and engaging, this book seeks out voices from well-known academics and policymakers, along with experts whose work regularly bridges the gap between the worlds of international affairs and serious scholarship. Excellent narrative essays seek to strengthen scholar-practitioner interaction by combining original research and recommendations for effective engagement with comparative analyses of important cases.

- Steve Reifenberg, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame

This timely volume is a ladder thrown across the yawning gap between academe and the policy world. It is packed with helpful, firsthand advice for those who might wish to cross over from those on both sides who have successfully made the journey.

- Jessica Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Bringing valuable new insight in the perennial debate about 'bridging the gap,' this timely and enlightening book reveals many 'gaps'—generational, national, and ideological—in the relationship between the academy and the policy world, and yet finds enduring shared values: not least, the need for accurate data and the commitment to the public good.

- Lisa Anderson, author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Reviews

Editors Abraham F. Lowenthal and Mariano E. Bertucci present a collection of readable, reflective essays written by scholars and practitioners... The collaboration between scholar and practitioner is an undertapped but potentially powerful resource. By exhibiting a degree of humility, and heeding some of the lessons in this book, we can break down the insularity of the two fields to very beneficial effect.

- Joseph Bristol - Foreign Service Journal

This superb volume is very much needed... Its essays join a number of highly regarded scholar–practitioners from across the Americas and Europe, and the authors take a hard look at the experience in a number of policy areas and countries or regions.

- Latin American Policy

Both scholars and policy makers who are looking for ideas on how to bridge the gap between their two worlds will find this book a valuable resource.

- H-Net Reviews
Johns Hopkins University Press
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Other Titles by Abraham F. Lowenthal

Democratic Transitions

edited by Sergio Bitar and Abraham F. Lowenthal
Oct 2015 - Johns Hopkins University Press / The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Co-published)
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text

Transitions from Authoritarian Rule

Guillermo O’Donnell, Philippe C. Schmitter, Laurence Whitehead, foreword by Cynthia J. Arnson, Abraham F. Lowenthal
Jun 2013 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$31.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$31.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$31.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The Dominican Intervention

Abraham F. Lowenthal
Dec 1994 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$31.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in POLITICAL SCIENCE / General

A Century of Populist Demagogues

Ivan T. Berend
Jul 2020 - Central European University Press
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The Politics of Richard Wright

Jane Anna Gordon
Jun 2020 - University Press of Kentucky
$80.00 USD - Hardback
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$80.00 USD - Electronic book text

The Age of Strict Construction

Zavodnyik Peter , Peter Zavodnyik
Aug 2018 - The Catholic University of America Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Political science & theory

Control of the Laws in the Ancient Democracy at Athens

Edwin Carawan
Dec 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Suffrage at 100

edited by Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow
Aug 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

Liberal Democracy and the Social Acceleration of Time

William E. Scheuerman
Jun 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$51.00 USD - Hardback
$51.00 USD - Electronic book text