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Scholars rank William & Mary 18th in U.S. for international relations

  • Climbing the rankings
    Climbing the rankings  W&M's International Relations program is ranked 18th in the nation by Foreign Policy magazine, its highest ranking ever.  Courtesy Foreign Policy magazine
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Following close on the heels of last month’s “Strengthening the Links” conference, The Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR) is proving that while there will always be some push and pull to the dialogue between academia and policy makers, William & Mary is fast becoming a leader in the discussion.

For evidence, look no further than the current edition of Foreign Policy, which includes its Ivory Tower Index — a ranking of the top international relations schools for undergraduates, master’s degrees and Ph.D. programs. For the first time since 2006 when the rankings began, William and Mary has made the list of Top 25 U.S. Undergraduate Institutions to Study International Relations, coming in at 18th.  This ranking makes William and Mary the top choice in Virginia for the study of international relations and the number two institution without an international relations Ph.D. program.  

The ranking is one component of the 2014 Ivory Tower survey—a collaboration between Foreign Policy, the leading international source for global news, and the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project at the College of William & Mary— which offers a window into how America’s top IR scholars see the world today and which institutions are effectively nurturing future generations of thinkers and policymakers. Responses from 1,615 scholars drawn from 1,375 U.S. colleges and universities determined rankings.

Susan Peterson, Reves professor of government and international relations and director of the international relations program, attributes William & Mary’s strength in international relations to the emphasis on student-faculty research.

“The TRIP Project, which conducted this survey of international relations experts, is an excellent example of the type of student-faculty collaborative research that William & Mary is known for,” Peterson noted. “Two of the four principal investigators on the TRIP team, Daniel Maliniak and Ryan Powers, are both alums who began working on the project when they were undergraduates at the College. Dan is now an assistant professor here, and Ryan is working on his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. One of the two TRIP project managers also is a recent graduate of the College, and the project involves 15 current undergraduates.”

Although Foreign Policy’s article includes only responses from U.S. scholars, the TRIP 2014 World Faculty Survey surveyed scholars from 32 countries across six continents.  The TRIP Faculty Survey Report features topline data available at the country-level.

William & Mary was also prominent in Foreign Policy the previous week, with the publication of the latest Snap Poll of IR scholars conducted by TRIP. It shows that IR experts diverge from mainstream public opinion when it comes to several hot topics: whether a great-power war is likely over the next 10 years, how to address the problem of the Islamic State, and the topic of immigration. (See the complete TRIP Snap Poll results here.)

With the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) Project issues regular “snap polls” as international events unfold in order to provide policymakers and the public with real-time information on the views of international relations experts.  The Snap Polls survey all individuals employed at a U.S. university in a political science department or policy school who teach or conduct research on issues that cross international borders. (Learn more here)

The reports orchestrated by Daniel Maliniak, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers and Michael J. Tierney serve not only as snapshots of current thinking, but drivers of discussion and a perfect example of how data can inform and frame intelligent analysis among scholars, student, policymakers, journalists and citizens. 

About the TRIP Project

To date, the Teaching, Research and International Policy (TRIP) Project has focused on trends in IR teaching, scholarship, and disciplinary norms through a periodic survey of IR scholars. The project also is building the world’s largest, systematically coded database of IR articles from peer-reviewed journals. The TRIP Project is best known for its “Inside the Ivory Tower” rankings of graduate and undergraduate programs in IR published in Foreign Policy and for a recent article on the “gender citation gap” published in the journal International Organization.