Russian and International Academic Practices in Comparative Perspective


The trend towards widening of the international academic discourse though integration of non-Western national schools in IR, affects the Russian scholarly community today only marginally. Russian scholars are hardly ever included in international debates regarding the major directions of political, economic and social development in the globalized world. Therefore, they are unable to influence the intellectual landscape of the current international relations. The current article emerged from a comparative study of the domestic and international academic and publication practices. It aims to identify key barriers towards greater engagement of Russian authors in the global academic debate on world politics. The article views the academic practices, which emerge from interaction between members of the scholarly community, as crucial regulatory frameworks, which define the quality of research publications. Since 2012 Russian authorities have adopted multiple decisions, aimed to integrate Russian science in the international context. These measures significantly affect Social Sciences, including International Studies. They resulted in an accelerated adoption of formal requirements to scholarly publications, while academic journals became the major enforcers in this process. However, the current study confirms that the internalization of new standards and practices by the academic community is far from being complete. This process is complicated by the fact that the epistemological and methodological foundations of the Russian school differentiate it significantly from Western IR. Meanwhile, the major differences lie in the definition of aims and structure of scholarly publications, as well as in criteria of academic study. Thus, the authors of the article come up with proposals, intended to foster a more successful integration of Russian IR in the global academic discourse. The study relies on the monitoring of self-positioning of journals and their requirements for authors, as well as on interviews conducted with publishers and editors of major Russian and international journals and authors who have a record of publishing in both contexts.

Keywords: global academic discourse; International Studies; science policy; leading academic journals; Russian school in IRT; international databases Scopus and Web of Science; U.S.; UK.

Comparative Perspective

Authors: Igor Istomin, Andrey Baykov

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