Research Seminar: "Bursts! Theoretical Fashions in the Study of International Relations - A Bibliometric Analysis"

CAST Research Seminar with Post.doc. Felix Bethke (Universität Duisburg-Essen) and Dr. Christian Bueger (Cardiff University).

What are the drivers of scientific progress and intellectual innovation? Usually we peer to the philosophy of science and seek some sort of rational and logical answer to this question and argue that somehow we move closer to the truth. But scientists are humans, too. And perhaps even very social ones. Relying on an understanding of science as a social practice, we argue in this paper that scientists love fashion. We take International Relations as an example and show that the progress and evolution of this discipline can be read as a sequence of fashions. We draw on the results of a burst detection analysis. Understanding researchers as fashionistas, not only challenges some conventional wisdoms about how science works, but raises a set of questions, such as, whether we are working in more fast-paced and complex disciplinary environments. 

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