Where are the academic articles on terrorism and IR theory?

Abu Aardvark has a great post documenting the lack of articles in the scholarly international relations journals that relate to terrorism or al-Qaeda. Only about 3% of the total volume. James Joyner of Outside the Beltway notes:

Part of the problem, aside from the view among many in the political science profession that public policy work amounts to “mere journalism,” is that doing quantitative work on a subject like terrorism, let alone al Qaeda, is very difficult because insufficient data exists to do rigorous studies. While there have been enough al Qaeda attacks to do intesting logical analysis, the “N” is way too small to do regression analysis.

Perhaps, but my experience in life is that people are inclined to do what they were trained to do and there just aren’t that many people working in IR with the necessary skills. It will take serious time and effort (5 years? 10 years?) to acquire those skills. Meanwhile, there are no thesis advisors with the necessary interests or skills.

So, we’ll have the necessary experts in 5 or 10 years? I doubt it. The folks who dominate the departments probably don’t value the skills and certainly don’t want any youngsters with new skillsets coming along to threaten their status and livelihoods. Was it Max Planck who said that for basic view in physics to change prominent, influential physicists had to die? I.e. there had to be a generational change?

Only the military has the skills, culture, attitudes, and money to develop experts quickly.

UPDATE: Steven Taylor of PoliBlog supports my explanation:

On the one hand, his findings aren’t shocking–if anything because scholars operating at that level of publication tend to eschew being “trendy” and are likely already quite locked into a specific area study. Plus, there is to be expected a substantial lag time in publications. Still, on the other hand, there is a remarkable dearth of treatment of the subject as noted by Lynch.

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