Paper - Stimson Center

Scholarly Research & Policy Relevance: One Journal Editor's Perspective

| 2023

Exploring the many ways in which journal articles may influence national security policy


This essay explores how scholarly articles influence national security policy. It focuses on articles in the journal International Security, which has published a higher proportion of policy-relevant articles than any other scholarly journal of international relations and foreign policy. Journal articles rarely have an immediate impact on foreign policy. They may, however, have important long-term and general effects. The articles that future policymakers read when they are students can shape their worldview and approach to national security policy. Prominent articles that advance new ideas can set the context for policy debates or persuasively challenge the conventional wisdom. Over time, a series of articles advocating a new policy may help to build support for that policy. Journal articles also can influence foreign policy by calling attention to their authors’ views and credentials to serve in policymaking positions. Authors who are appointed to government positions can influence policy directly.

This paper was written for The Future of Social Science and National Security Project, which has been sponsored by the International Security Center at the University of Notre Dame and the Stimson Center with generous financial support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Lynn-Jones, Sean M. “Scholarly Research & Policy Relevance: One Journal Editor's Perspective.” Paper, Stimson Center, 2023.

The Author