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As you can see, E-International Relations has recently had a facelift.  Don’t be fooled, however.  The update was purely cosmetic but E-IR has committed to continuing its role as a premier outlet of international relations commentary and analysis.

Which is why it is confusing they kept me around.

I have been a proud contributor to E-IR for quite some time and when the offer was made to re-launch my blog, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.  Take solace in knowing, however, that the re-launch is going to bring with it some different elements and, more importantly, will have an all-star cast of regular contributors from across the world, all operating in the shared goal of this blog – to ignite dialogue on the key issues impacting international politics today.

Throughout the last week, questions have arisen surrounding the professional merits of academic blogging due to the ISA’s ill-conceived comment that blogging is not something it wants its editors associated with (for more on this, see Dylan Kissane’s blog post).

The ISA has a point, in that blogs are not peer-reviewed, journal-length articles that contain 75 footnotes.  In this regard, when compared to the prototypical academic writing formats we are all used to, it would not be “professional”.  However, students, scholars, policymakers and casual observers of international politics can learn, and have learned, a great deal from academic blogs.  The qualifications are the same, the expertise is the same, but the main difference is that the purpose of a blog is completely different than academic publishing.

Among the chief reasons for my loyalty to E-IR has been its commitment to open access content that is scholarly, timely, relevant and understandable to more than experts in the field.  The engagement of students is pivotal to the field being successful moving forward and I see no better way to spark interest than in blog pieces by intelligent people.  And so, this is the first post in the new “IR Theory and Practice” blog that I hope will continue being of at least some interest to readers moving forward.

Further Reading on E-International Relations