I Don’t Get No Respect: The Travails of IP

Vinod K Aggarwal

International Studies Quarterly, 2010

The question of whether IPE journals are boring, in Benjamin Cohen’s provocative words, provides us with a useful opportunity to introspect on the state of the field. Briefly, to set the stage, Cohen argues that IPE has begun to mimic the methodological approach of most of the economics field—leading to a focus on
mid-level theory—rather than on the big picture that characterized IPE in the early 1970s and 1980s. Cohen argues that journal editors have an important role to play to rectify this lack of imaginative thinking and writing. Specifically, he develops three well-articulated solutions. First, he suggests that the field would benefit from more review essays and that editors should actively solicit such articles. Second, he argues that symposia on various themes could help spice up the debate in the field. And third, he notes that changing submission policies to encourage commentaries and provocative arguments would enhance the prospects for greater creativity.

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