Out Of The Ivory Tower: Weaving the Theories and Practice of International Relations

22-23 October 2011

London School of Economics & Political Science


Kathryn Sikkink (University of Minnesota)

Opening Roundtable:

Andrew Hurrell (Oxford University); Stephen Gill (York University); and Carol Cohn (University of Massachusetts)

Closing Roundtable:

Christian Reus-Smit (EUI); Stephen Chan (SOAS); and Christine Sylvester (Lancaster University)

On the 40th anniversary of Millennium: Journal of International Studies, the 2011 Millennium Annual Conference will explore the relationship between theory and practice for both the study and conduct of world politics.

The gap between International Relations (IR) theories and the practice of world politics is widely acknowledged as a critical problem, and has stimulated a debate in itself. The underlying assumption which has informed the discussion until now has been that theory is only for theorists and practice is only for practitioners. Based on this assumption, the prevailing response to reconcile the separation between theory and practice has revolved around the need to overcome the dichotomy between theorists and practitioners. However, the relationship between theory and practice is much more complex.

For instance, what is the role of theory in constructing and delimiting what is possible and/or impossible in international relations? How does the way we teach IR to students influence future practices of international politics? Why is the development of theories not more rooted in the analyses of world political practices? To what extent is the applicability of theories constrained by the actual policy processes? What kind of responsibility do academics bear with regard to the understanding of world politics they hinder or facilitate?

These represent only some of many crucial questions that still need to be explored. The 2011 Millennium Annual Conference aims at pushing forward the boundaries of our understanding about the relationship between theory and practice. Innovative methodologies and new research agendas are required in order to bridge a gap which goes beyond the mere (dis)engagements between academics and practitioners.

Millennium welcomes the submission of abstracts on these and related topics, and panel proposals (with a minimum of 3 abstracts). A selection of the conference papers will be featured in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 40, No. 3.

Deadline: 16 May, 2011 (for abstracts and panel proposals)

Please submit your proposals to the Editors at millennium@lse.ac.uk

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