October 2012
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Welcome to the inaugural issue of "In the World," which features the latest news from the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations at William & Mary.


The Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations employs rigorous social science methods to make meaningful contributions to contemporary international debate, policy, and practice. The Institute does this by developing innovative data sets, catalyzing student-faculty research partnerships, producing policy-relevant scholarship, and engaging a global network of scholars and policymakers.


Founded in 2008, as a joint venture by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, the research done at the Institute provides a strong complement to the university's academic programs in International Relations, Public Policy, Government, Economics and, increasingly, other departments and programs


The Institute is at the forefront of bridging the gap between theory and practice in International Relations - we hope you enjoy reading about our work. 




Sue Peterson and Mike Tierney 


Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations


P.S. The Institute relies on the generosity of alumni and friends to support our many programs. If you are interested in making a gift to the Institute, please click here or get in touch with one of us.

Engaged research: Working with Uganda
Fisheries and Conflict Project Video
Team Studies Food Security in Uganda, Collaborates with Government Scientists to Establish GIS Center
In June 2012 political economist Cullen Hendrix and marine biologist Sarah Glaser led a research trip to Uganda to study the relationship between fisheries, food security, and conflict in the Lake Victoria basin, a region inhabited by 40-million people. The team, which included three W&M undergraduates, also worked with Ugandan scientists from the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute to establish a joint Geographic Information Systems (GIS) center in Jinja, which will monitor fish movement within the lake and assess the region's viability for tilapia aquaculture. Read more. 
AidData's Blog: The First Tranche

AidData, a global leader in the provision of accessible, detailed, and actionable foreign aid information, provides a comprehensive open access database of nearly one million bilateral and multilateral assistance projects.


AidData's blog, The First Tranche, features independent views and analysis from researchers and development practitioners who specialize in issues of aid transparency and aid effectiveness. Covering a variety of development finance related topics, the contributors discuss current research on foreign aid and development; use systematic evidence to comment on contemporary foreign policy and international development issues; explore the relationship between the theory and practice of development; and aim to bring more rigor and science to bear on aid policy debates. 


The First Tranche recently received international media attention in Britain's Guardian newspaper, as well as on their global development website. Read more. 

TRIP Research Published in Foreign Policy

In January 2012 TRIP researchers published an article in Foreign Policy magazine that highlighted survey results from IR scholars in U.S. universities and IR policy makers who worked in the U.S. government. The results highlight the views of both scholars and policy makers on a range of contemporary foreign policy issues. Read more.     

TRIP Survey: Scholars Agree East Asia is World Region of Greatest Strategically Significance
A community of 3,466 international relations scholars from 20 countries believes that East Asia is the world's region of greatest strategic importance to their nations today. Read more. 
Researchers Explore Academy's Response to Real World Trends in International Politics 

A student-faculty research team of Professor Sue Peterson, Lindsay Hundley '12, and Ben Kenzer '13 presented their joint paper, "The Rise of China and the Academy" at the BISA-ISA Joint International Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland in June 2012. Read more.  

PIPS Undergraduate Think Tank Engages Influential Theorists and Practitioners

The Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) is an undergraduate think tank whose fellows are tasked with identifying an emerging international security challenge and working to develop creative and carefully researched policy recommendations. Before choosing their research topics, fellows are also given unique opportunities to brainstorm with some of today's leading international relations theorists and practitioners. In early September, the new class of fellows spent time with Marc Lynch, a Middle East expert who is a professor, author, blogger, editor and policy advisor. Last week the fellows met with General Anthony Zinni, a retired four-star General in the United States Marine Corps, who also served as Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command, and special envoy for the United States to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. PIPS fellows will publish their policy briefs in spring 2013, after which they will present their research to scholars and policy makers at an annual symposium in Washington D.C. Read more about PIPS.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Awards PIPS a Research Grant

The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research awarded PIPS a research grant to study the political, sociological, and psychological barriers to the deployment of the Active Denial System (ADS) in peacekeeping and counterinsurgency operations. In spring 2012, PIPS fellows Benjamin Buch '12 and Katherine Mitchell '13 published their policy brief entitled, The Active Denial System: Obstacles and Promise, which focused on the challenges in utilizing this non-lethal weapons technology and made recommendations for its use going forward. Further PIPS research on the topic will propose technical changes to ADS, criteria for its employment, and public outreach initiatives. The final report will be submitted to the Air Force this fall.
2011-2012 PIPS Policy Briefs Now Online 

The 2011-2012 PIPS fellows produced briefs on a wide range of topics including fighting pandemic disease with technology, combating radicalism in Pakistan through reform, creating frameworks to regulate state cybersecurity, analyzing the effectiveness of non-lethal weapons technology, and developing low-cost fighter jets for export. Read the briefs.

Paraguay's Former Minister of Planning Lectures on Institutional Reform, Consults on Reform Incentives Survey

Julia Maciel met with Institute staff, as well as students and faculty on September 14, to discuss the policy and institutional reform process in Paraguay. Her talk focused on the role of domestic political leadership, external actors, and inter-organizational cooperation. 

Marc Lynch Explores the Unfinished Revolutions of the 

New Middle East

Professor Marc Lynch examined the context of the Arab Spring, and the possibilities for the Arab world in the future to an audience of 200 at William & Mary on September 13, 2012.

Read more.

Faculty members Tierney, Parks Contribute to Book on Sustainability

William & Mary faculty members and IR scholars Michael Tierney and Bradley Parks used AidData to contribute to a book project by Widener University Law Professor John C. Dernbach that lends major support to the national movement for more sustainable products, practices, lifestyles and policies. Read more.  

To learn more about the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations at the College of William & Mary, please visit our website at http://irtheoryandpractice.wm.edu/