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CROP-IT Workshop “How to Build a National Identity Database (like a Constructivist)” (Seminar report)

On May 7, 2019, Associate Professor Srdjan Vucetic of the University of Ottawa gave a talk entitled “How to Build a National Identity Database (like a Constructivist).” Professor Atsushi Tago of the School of Political Science and Economics hosted the event with the support from the Center for Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy, Top Global University Project at Waseda University.

Opening remarks by Prof. Tago

Professor Vucetic has published “The Anglosphere: A Genealogy of a Racialized Identity in International Relations (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011),” a book based on his dissertation, and a variety of fine articles including “The Distribution of Identity and the Future of International Order: China’s Hegemonic Prospects,” which appeared in International Organization (72: 4, 2018, pp. 839-869). The talk was given based on Professor Vucetic’s most recent research on identity and cross-national data collection project.

Professor Vucetic claimed that international relations (IR) scholars have come to recognize that state behavior in the international system is not driven solely by the distribution of power, but also depends on the distribution of identities. However, he also pointed out that many IR scholars carry on the research as if identities do not matter. According to him, this leads to a systematic omitted variable bias that adversely impacts not only much of IR scholarship but also how the policy community conceptualizes and analyzes both security and non-security issues in world politics. The international collaborative project, Making Identity Count, in which Professor Vucetic joins as a core member, endeavors to build a constructivist, intersubjective database of all great power identities from 1950 to 2020 that will become the source for IR scholars who wish to include constructivist arguments in their scholarship. In the session, participants enjoyed discussion over the strengths and weakness of this project.

“CROP-IT (Collaborative Research On Political Information Transmission) ”  is funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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