Richard Caplan has written an article for e-International Relations (20 July) entitled ‘Studying Conflict and Practicing Peacebuilding’, about the relationship between the study of conflict and the actual practice of peacebuilding.
On the subject of whether academic study truly has any impact on the decisions of policymakers, Richard writes that “there has been no systematic assessment of how and to what extent national and international policymakers use conflict studies to inform their analysis and decision-making.”
“From Blinder we know that politicians tend to draw on the research findings of economists largely when it suits their purposes—notably, in support of policy positions that they have already adopted (Blinder 2014). From Avey and Desch we know that senior national security policymakers find little of practical value in much social science research (Avey and Desch 2014). There is no reason to expect that the pattern is very different for the sub-field of International Relations that conflict studies represent.”