Locating Relevance in Security Studies

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Michael Desch argues that the increasing sophistication of quantitative methodology deployed by those who study war and conflict in global politics (‘Security Studies’) trades off with the relevance of work in the subfield to the ‘real world’ (the Washington Beltway), which is normatively and substantively problematic. I generally agree with Desch that Security Studies has a relevance problem attributable to its current epistemological and methodological framings. However, I think Desch specifies both the target of relevance and the scope of Security Studies’ methodological issues in ways that obscure the degree to which his own analytical framework is actually part of the problem rather than an effective critique of it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-398
Number of pages3
JournalPerspectives on Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2015


  • relevance
  • security studies
  • methodology

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