Why Are Russian Authors Not Published in American Peer Review Journals?


In the second issue of International Trends in 2015 Igor Istomin and Andrei Baykov published an article “Russian and International Publication Practices”. While it tries to explain the underrepresentation of Russian authors in Western academic journals by analysing the methodological differences between scholarly communities, Alexey Fenenko claims that Russian specialists struggle to get published in the West for ideological reasons. It identifies ideological principles, which determine acceptance in an American discourse on International Relations. They include belief in a long-term stability of the world order, which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, trust in the moral superiority and historical inevitability of liberal democracy and globalization and the acceptance of the U.S. leadership as their principal guarantor. The author, further, argues that the Russian expert community does not share these central axiomatic provisions, advanced by their Western colleagues, therefore, any discussion between them appears to be fruitless. Russian scholars either expect that the American-centric order will disintegrate soon or identify signs of this disintegration, already. An absence of the common ideological framework precludes spillover in the methodological field. Henceforth, Russian academics become reluctant toward quantitative methods so dominant in the U.S., which rest on a hypothesis of long-term sustainability of the political landscape. Russian scholars after excesses of uncritical studying of the American mainstream in the 1990s and early 2000s, over the last few years appear to have become disillusioned in the Western understanding of international affairs. Unlike Istomin and Baykov, the current article expects growing renationalization rather than integration of expert communities both in Russia and the United States. As a result much of the channels for dialogue between Russian and American scholars are destroyed.

Keywords: epistemic communities; long-term forecasting; quantitative methods; foreign policy ideology; Americancentric order; multipolar world; globalization; liberal democracy.


Authors: Alexey Fenenko

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