Undisciplined IR : Thinking without a Net. / Sjoberg, Laura.

What’s the Point of International Relations? . ed. / Synne Dyvik; Jan Selby; Rorden Wilkinson. 1st. ed. London : Routledge, 2017. p. 159-169.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review



This chapter explores the virtues of IR as an undiscipline—suggesting that the comparative advantage of IR, or the potential comparative advantage of IR—is its lack of disciplinarity, and the accompanying lack of foundation, which brings about a lack of clear rules for thought, knowledge production, and research. The disciplinary borrowing, or tool-shopping, that has become characteristic of IR would be impossible were IR a proper “discipline”—and, with Alker, I find that to be one of IR’s greatest strengths.

The remainder of this chapter explores that attraction—the draw of undisciplined IR—and discuss some of the potential advantages of IR-as-undiscipline for the (loose) intellectual community of IR scholars and their corresponding body of scholarship. After a brief engagement of what undisciplined scholarship is/could be, the chapter explores two potential draws of such work: (i) putting exploration before coherence; and (ii) sampling paths diverse claiming contribution in IR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat’s the Point of International Relations?
EditorsSynne Dyvik, Jan Selby, Rorden Wilkinson
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315201467
ISBN (Print)9781138707306, 9781138707313
Publication statusPublished - 2017
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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