IR AND TERRORISM….Abu Aardvark says that his field, International Relations, has been sadly missing in action in the post-9/11 debate over al-Qaeda and terrorism:

Realism, with its emphasis on the balance of power among self-interested nation-states, had little to say about a non-state actor motivated by religion. Liberalism, with its various arguments about international institutions, trade, and democracy, similarly offered little traction. Rationalist approaches seemed initially stymied by an organization defined by intense religious convictions, and by individual suicide terrorism….Constructivism seemed to be the best placed to account for such a religious, transnational movement. But constructivist analyses of al-Qaeda were few and far between.

Has IR really been so feeble over the past few years? The Aardvark took a look at the seven leading IR journals to find out:

All told, these seven journals published 796 articles between 2002-2005. I found a total of 25 articles dealing even loosely with al-Qaeda, Islamism, or terrorism. That’s just over 3% of the articles. Now, there’s lots of important stuff out there in the world, and there’s no reason for the whole field to be following the headlines, but still… 3%?

Read the whole thing for more.

I don’t have anything to add to this, but thought it was interesting enough to highlight. I know it takes a while for people to change gears, but you’d sure think terrorism might have captured just a little more attention among IR types by now, wouldn’t you?