Comparative analysis of the Russian foreign policy priorities and research interests of the national academic community

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Assessment of the correlation in priorities of the academic community and national foreign policy represents not only an intriguing research question by itself, but also an important practical task. As the governmental bodies remain the main source of demand for professionals and research in International Relations, such analysis could create a foundation for the status and material aspirations of scholars. Nevertheless, there were no systematic attempts to assess the abovementioned correlation on the basis of the sufficient empirical data. The current article is aimed to stimulate discussion regarding the connections between policy and academic priorities through providing comparative analysis of the major directions in Russian official documents and topics covered in PhD theses on International Politics. The analysis covers the period from the early 1990s until 2016. The use of PhD theses as an object for the current study is justified by their reflection of long-term research orientations, significant multiplying effect on higher education and academic publications, as well as define transition of young specialists from students to members of the professional community. The article proves that thematical preferences of the PhD theses, prepared in 2000s and 2010s, to a great extent correlate with the priorities defined by the Russian Concepts of foreign policy. However, they underrepresent several important policy directions, siuch as arms control, political aspects of global innovation system and international relations in the Post-Soviet space and in the Asia Pacific.

About the authors

Igor’ Aleksandrovich Istomin

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University)

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Political Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Analysis of International Problems of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


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