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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! series

Unravelling the Mysteries: Embracing the Particular and the General in Middle East Research

Date
Thursday 18 November 2021
Time
Explanation
Please register below
Series
What's New?! Fall Lecture Series 2021
Location
Lipsius
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Room
1.48

Acidic debates on the contribution and value of area studies have punctuated the field of international relations since the end of World War Two. Can IR and Area Studies find common research ground?  Is it possible to do deep empirical studies and compare, and should we try? Is there a place for causal inference in area studies? Drawing on a recent book chapter, this talk provides a brief overview of the rise of area studies and IR and the mutual disdain that has characterised much of the interaction between the two disciplines on how to conduct research. In this talk I discuss why international relations currently lacks detailed regional knowledge and how critiques of area studies have been closely connected to ontological and epistemological developments in the social sciences.  Finally I discuss the possibilities for methodological approaches that might facilitate more collaboration between IR, comparative politics, and area studies. 

About Vanessa Newby

Vanessa Newby is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University and President of Women in International Security Netherlands (WIIS-NL) based in The Hague. Her research interests include gender and security, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid and disaster response, and the international relations of the Middle East. Vanessa has conducted research on the Middle East for over twelve years and is an Arabic speaker. She is the author of two books: Peacekeeping in South Lebanon: Credibility and Local Cooperation with Syracuse University Press (2018) and a travelogue, Follow the Arabic Road: Going Off Track in the Middle East (2021). She has published in international peer-reviewed journals such as the European Journal of International Security, Third World Quarterly, and Contemporary Politics.

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