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Miriam Fendius Elman

Miriam Fendius Elman is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Previously she was Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Arizona State University. She is coeditor, with Colin Elman, of Bridges and Boundaries: Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study of International Relations (MIT Press, 2001).

Titles by This Editor

Appraising the Field

All academic disciplines periodically appraise their effectiveness, evaluating the progress of previous scholarship and judging which approaches are useful and which are not. Although no field could survive if it did nothing but appraise its progress, occasional appraisals are important and if done well can help advance the field.

This book investigates how international relations theorists can better equip themselves to determine the state of scholarly work in their field. It takes as its starting point Imre Lakatos's influential theory of scientific change, and in particular his methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP). It uses MSRP to organize its analysis of major research programs over the last several decades and uses MSRP's criteria for theoretical progress to evaluate these programs. The contributors appraise the progress of institutional theory, varieties of realist and liberal theory, operational code analysis, and other research programs in international relations. Their analyses reveal the strengths and limits of Lakatosian criteria and the need for metatheoretical metrics for evaluating scientific progress.

Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study of International Relations

Bridges and Boundaries offers a conversation between what might loosely be described as traditionalist diplomatic and military historians, and political scientists who employ qualitative case study methods to examine international relations. The book opens with a series of chapters discussing differences, commonalities, and opportunities for cross-fertilization between the two disciplines.

To help focus the dialogue on real events and research, the volume then revisits three empirical topics that have been studied at length by members of both disciplines: British hegemony in the nineteenth century; diplomacy in the interwar period and the causes of World War II; and the origins and course of the Cold War. For each of these subjects, a political scientist, a historian, and a commentator reflect on how disciplinary "guild rules" have shaped the study of international events. The book closes with incisive overviews by Robert Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder.

Bridges and Boundaries explores how historians and political scientists can learn from one another and illustrates the possibilities that arise when open-minded scholars from different disciplines sit down to talk.

Is Democracy the Answer?

Many political scientists have hailed the apparent existence of Democratic Peace—the absence of wars between democracies—as proof that a world of democracies would be a world without war. This idea challenges traditional approaches to international politics, which focus on the balance of power between states regardless of their political systems. It also has important implications for world politics, especially as President Clinton has made the promotion of democracy a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy on the grounds that democracies never fight each other.

This volume examines historical cases that shed light on various arguments that might account for a Democratic Peace. Focusing on international crises between democratic, democratic-nondemocratic, and nondemocratic pairs of states that either escalated to war or were resolved peacefully, Paths to Peace explores the extent to which domestic norms and institutions influence threat perceptions and the process of foreign policymaking.

Cases involving democratic pairs include the Anglo-French entente cordiale, the Spanish-American War, Anglo-American peace since 1815, and Finland versus the Western democracies in World War II. Cases involving democracies and nondemocratic counterparts include the British-Argentine war over the Falklands, the Indo-Pakistani conflict, and Israel's invasion of Lebanon. Finally, cases involving nondemocratic relationships include events such as the Iran-Iraq War and examples of nondemocratic peace, such as the resolution of crises between Peru and Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Turkey and Greece.

Contributors:
Kurt Dassel, Miriam Fendius Elman, Lawrence Freedman, Sumit Ganguly, Arie M. Kacowicz, Christopher Layne, Martin Malin, John C. Matthews III, John M. Owen, Stephen R. Rock.