IR Theory and Practice

This blog brings together a group of scholars to provide timely, expert and tangible insights on some of the most pivotal issues facing the world today. The blog has three distinct facets to it: Opinions, which are editorial-style pieces providing in-depth analysis; Comments, which are shorter thoughts or insights; and Rapid Fire, which are concise responses to questions of interest.

(Mis)Understanding the Arctic

(Mis)Understanding the Arctic

What is becoming clearer as Arctic political discourse continues to unfold is that IR scholarship is lagging behind in its application to actual Arctic politics.

The Return of the Problem-Solvers

The Return of the Problem-Solvers

When it comes to educating the next generation of policy-makers, there is a problem facing the academy and the crises in Ukraine and Syria demonstrate that.

Rapid Fire: Are Political Scientists Irrelevant?

Rapid Fire: Are Political Scientists Irrelevant?

The contributors to E-IR’s IR Theory and Practice blog discuss whether Nicholas Kristof’s argument surrounding the irrelevance of political scientists rings true.

Sacrificing Defence for Votes in Canada

Sacrificing Defence for Votes in Canada

The recent announcement that Canadian defence capital spending planning for the coming year would be delayed is yet another major blow to Canada’s defence strategy.

China’s “Near Seas” Threat – Less than Meets the Eye?

China’s “Near Seas” Threat – Less than Meets the Eye?

There’s no denying that China has made some important progress in building its military capabilities. But it may be premature to consider it a rival to the US at the moment.

New Site, New Voices, Same Purpose

New Site, New Voices, Same Purpose

The relaunch of this blog is going to introduce some exciting new elements and an all-star cast of regular contributors from across the world to ignite dialogue on key issues.

In Defence of Expertise

In Defence of Expertise

What exactly is an ‘expert’ and with the incredible databases of knowledge available, is there really a need for experts anymore? Further, do they still exist beyond the ivory towers of academia?

Reaffirming the General Assembly’s Futility

Reaffirming the General Assembly’s Futility

In a history plagued with inaction human rights issues and abuses, the UN again proved its ineptitude this week by awarding seats on its Human Rights Council to China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria.

Obama, Syria and the Fading Unipolar Moment

Obama, Syria and the Fading Unipolar Moment

As the world watches the Obama Administration fumble its way through a decision about Syria, it is striking just how far the US has fallen in its relative place as a unipolar hegemon.

Waltzian Metatheory: A Rejoinder to Brittnee Carter

Waltzian Metatheory: A Rejoinder to Brittnee Carter

A recent article on e-IR examined some of the metatheoretical implications of Waltz’s 1979 Theory of International Politics. Though an excellent analysis, there are some points to add.

The Politics of the Realist/Liberal Divide

The Politics of the Realist/Liberal Divide

Stephen Walt recently pointed out that realist academics tend to be solitary while liberals often collaborate and write jointly. However, he misses a crucial point that needs to be added to the discussion.

Reflecting on Kenneth Waltz

Reflecting on Kenneth Waltz

As professors, students and lovers of international relations, we walk in the shadows of giants. Our field lost one of its giants yesterday with the passing of the undisputedly influential Kenneth Waltz.