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Expert Knowledge Diffusion in International Politics and How to Research the Problem

International Relations
Knowledge
International
Methods
Mixed Methods
Influence
Sarka Cabadova Waisova
University of West Bohemia
Sarka Cabadova Waisova
University of West Bohemia

Abstract

We live in a knowledge society based on knowledge economy, both associated with the diffusion and use of expert knowledge (EK) and innovations. The production and diffusion of EK have become the international strategic process. The central question of this paper is “how to research the EK diffusion in international politics”. While the most of diffusionist research study the diffusion of EK in the centralized and organized systems, the research of the EK diffusion in international politics is challenged by specific problem: to research the diffusion in complex adaptive system that is neither perfectly ordered nor anarchic, non-hierarchic, non-centralistic and that is multi-scalar and multi-layered based on interaction between states and non-state actors. Consequently, the research of EK diffusion has to pay attention to the growth, temporality, scalarity, spatiality, relationality, structure and actors including knowledgeable individual at the micro-scopical level and to the interactions of all of these elements. To bring all under one roof is not easy. I suggest to frame the research into an assemblage approach. It was observed that when researching assemblage, rather than connote a static arrangement of parts, assemblage indicates a perspective focused on the detailed historical, qualitative and ethnographic study of the practice of assembling some form of coherence. The solution is than to trace and observe the process in which actors, relations, practices and artifacts assemble around “something” in the detail. Promising methods seems to be combination of: 1) qualitative historiographic analysis, 2) biography, 3) SNA, 4) ANT and 4) topology. Case study (diffusion of EK on Environmental Peacebuilding) will be used to demonstrate how these methods may be used.