čtvrtek 18. června 2015

Má stát platit akademikům zahraniční dovolenky?

Charles King z Georgetown University v článku z čerstvého čísla Foreign Affairs s varovným názvem The Decline of International Studies pojmenovává mnohé problémy současného studia mezinárodních vztahů. Některé z jeho argumentů jsou dokonce použitelné i do tuzemské debaty. King střílí jak do vlastních řad ("Part of the problem lies in the professoriate. An iron law of academia holds that, with time, all disciplines bore even themselves. English professors drift away from novels and toward literary theory. Economists envy mathematicians. Political scientists give up grappling with dilemmas of power and governance—the concerns of thinkers from Aristotle to Max Weber and Hans Morgenthau—and make their own pastiche of the natural sciences with careful hypotheses about minute problems. Being monumentally wrong is less attractive than being unimpor­tantly right. (dlouhodobě mám podobný pocit - čím dál dokonalejšími metodami se zkoumají čím dál větší ptákoviny...) Research questions derive almost exclusively from what has gone unsaid in some previous scholarly conversation. As any graduate student learns early on, one must first “fill a hole in the literature” and only later figure out whether it was worth filling. Doctoral programs also do a criminally poor job of teaching young scholars to write and speak in multiple registers—that is, use jargon with their peers if necessary but then explain their findings to a broader audience with equal zeal and effectiveness"), tak do stále krátkodoběji orientovaného financování vědy, která by se dle politiků zřejmě měla orientovat na bezprostřední přínosy a posílení národní bezpečnosti. Přitom Spojené státy se v minulosti vyznačovaly právě schopností překročit (ideálně intelektuálně) vlastní hranice: "The rise of the United States as a global power was the product of more than merely economic and military advantages. Where the country was truly hegemonic was in its unmatched knowledge of the hidden interior of other nations: their languages and cultures, their histories and political systems, their local economies and human geographies."
A aspoň trochu munice pro IR nadšence: "Two years ago, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences warned of a hidden crisis in the humanities and social sciences. “Now more than ever,” the academy’s report concluded, “the spirit of international cooperation, the promotion of trade and foreign investment, the requirements of international diplomacy, and even the enhancement of national security depend in some measure on an American citizenry trained in humanistic and social scientific disciplines, including languages, transnational studies, moral and political philosophy, global ethics, and international relations.
"Great powers should revel in small data: the granular and culture-specific knowledge that can make the critical difference between really getting a place and getting it profoundly wrong.
(...) Democratic societies depend on having a cadre of informed professionals outside government—people in universities, think tanks, museums, and research institutes who cultivate expertise protected from the pressures of the state. Many countries can field missile launchers and float destroyers; only a few have built a Brookings Institution or a Chatham House."
A proč jsou mezinárodní a regionální studia důležitá? "Their chief role is not to enable the makers of foreign policy. It is rather to constrain them: to show why things will always be more complicated than they seem, how to foresee unintended consequences, and when to temper ambition with a realistic understanding of what is historically and culturally imaginable."

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