I have found an interesting counter-example to my earlier lament about disciplinary norms restricting open reflection by IR scholars about their personal trajectory and history as it relates to their work. It is Robert Keohane’s recent interview on UC-Berkeley’s “Conversations with History” series in which he expounds the myriad personal, cultural, social influences that have informed and shaped his research.

Keohane’s willingness to expound on his personal relationship to his subject matter is not limited to public interviews, of course, but constituted a chapter in his book International Institutions and State Power. While the chapter was not an example of Kingdonian activism – that is, it was not an attempt to account methodologically for his personal influence over the subject matter of his study – I think this does meet Jim Rosenau’s criteria for “situating the scholar” in the world. And I continue to think this is an example to be revived and diffused among younger scholars as well.

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