Amrita Narlikar / Daniel Drezner

International relations: the ‘how not to’ guide – Introduction to the International Affairs centenary special issue

  • Abstract

    In the century of International Affairs' existence, there have been a lot of catastrophic critical junctures when a different policy decision, underpinned by an alternative epistemic framing, might have led to a more peaceful and prosperous world. In this special issue, we consider the well-intentioned efforts of humanity over the past century that turned out badly. Much of foreign policy analysis seeks to replicate successes; we humbly ask whether it might make more sense to examine how to avoid disastrous failure. In this introductory article we develop a concrete definition of policy failure and provide a motivation for why the study of failures is relevant for the coming century. We suggest a Hippocratic Oath for policy-minded scholars, and advance guidelines to help go beyond Barack Obama's ‘Don't do stupid shit’ injunction and also guard against potential policy paralysis. Finally, we offer conclusions derived from the other articles in this special issue that are relevant for both the study and practice of international relations. Armed with these insights, practitioners—and the researchers who advise them—may stand a better chance of avoiding some of the worst pitfalls of international relations; occasionally, together, we may even get some things right.



    International Affairs







    Prof. Dr. Daniel W. Drezner

    The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

    Vortragende:r | 10.03.2023

    Isolation in International Relations

    University of Cambridge Cambridge: 10.03.2023

    Die Präsidentin des GIGA und Honorary Fellowship des Darwin College, Prof. Amrita Narlikar, hält im Rahmen der Darwin College Lecture Series einen Vortrag über Verflechtung und Isolationismus in den internationalen Beziehungen und deren Auswirkungen auf Forschung und Politik.

    Berater:in, Panelbeitragende:r, Berater:in | 21.09.2022

    How NOT to Do Foreign Policy

    Kooperationsveranstaltung London or online: 21.09.2022 Organisation: German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Chatham House, International Affairs (Journal)

    Anlässlich der Veröffentlichung der Sonderausgabe zum hundertjährigen Bestehen von International Affairs "International Relations: the 'how not to' guide" lädt Chatham House zu einer Diskussion mit Prof. Drezner, Prof. Narlikar und Prof. Rosoux darüber ein, wie politische Entscheidungsträger:innen und Forscher:innen aus den schlimmsten Fallstricken lernen können.

    Prof. Dr. Daniel W. Drezner

    Prof. Dr. Valérie Rosoux

    International Affairs | 09.2022

    How not to negotiate: the case of trade multilateralism

    The WTO has become an almost perfect example of how not to negotiate. In this article, GIGA President Prof. Narlikar identifies three broad categories of bargaining failures and explores the impact of narratives on the course of events, giving us a clear list of dos and don’ts for international negotiation.


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