On Wednesday, 8/10/2014 we will discuss the paper titled “Bursts! Theoretical Fashions in the Study of International Relations – A Bibliometric Analysis” at a Research Seminar of the Center for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) which I coauthored with Felix Bethke (Universität Duisburg-Essen).
In the seminar we aim at discussion the following: What are the drivers of scientific progress and intellectual innovation? Usually we peer to the philosophy of science and seek some sort of rational and logical answer to this question and argue that somehow we move closer to the truth. But scientists are humans, too. And perhaps even very social ones. Relying on an understanding of science as a social practice, we argue in this paper that scientists love fashion. We take International Relations as an example and show that the progress and evolution of this discipline can be read as a sequence of fashions. We draw on the results of a burst detection analysis. Understanding researchers as fashionistas, not only challenges some conventional wisdom about how science works, but raises a set of questions, such as, whether we are working in more fast-paced and complex disciplinary environments.
For registration- or more information about CAST Research Seminars, go to events. Contact me by email to receive a copy of the draft paper.