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Week ONE, 2024

Dr Nazanin Shahrokni

Analytic Approaches for International Studies


4. Next Steps

3. Your projects

2. Politics of Knowledge Production: who produces what, how and why

1. Course Structure

Supervisor[Insert their name]

Researcher[Insert your name]


Course ConvenorNazanin Shahrokni

Structured Support

- Assignments & Assessments- Peer-to-Peer Meetings- Supervision Meetings- Office Hours

Course Structure & Content

- Think to Write & Write to Think

Lecture Components

- Contextualizing Your Research- Designing Your Research- Methods & Methodologies- Fine-Tuning & Writing & Presenting Your Project

Let's review the syllabus!

Mark Your Calendars!

All TermClass attendance and participation in class discussions (10 points)Friday February 2nd @ 4pmFirst 750 word essay (10 points)Friday February 15th @ 4 pmInterview Project and Code Sheet (20 points)Wednesday April 3rd @ 10amSecond 750 word essay (10 points)Wednesday April 10th @ 2pmPrepare a presentation (20 points)Wednesday April 17th @ 4 pmFinal 1500 word proposal (30 points)







Politics of knowledge production

Academic Extractivism

Power Differentials & Power Dynamics (Smith 2015)

Government Policies

Other Actors?

Funding Agencies

Lobby Groups

Intellectual Imperialism

Academic Capitalism

Academic Dependency

Context matters!

Think of the major thinkers in the fields you are interested in. With a few exception the majority of academic superstars are white men from priviledged backgrounds (Founding fathers of sociology for example).Even the academics of color that we know and admire, with a few exceptions, are those that reside in the global north (in English speaking institutions)Also Follow the $$

In his article entitled “The Syrian Cause and Anti-Imperialism”, Yassin Al-Haj Saleh draws attention to the continuously denied “epistemological agency” of the Syrian people over their narration and analysis of war in Syria: “Either there is no value to what we say, or we are confined to lesser domains of knowledge, turned into mere sources for quotations.”

Who produces knowledge?

Whose knowledge counts?


Note: Knowledge stems from social position --> Discuss Standpoint Theory

Thus, recovery and reaffirmation of indigenous and marginalized knowledge become important

What counts as knowledge?

What kind of knowledge is produced?


Why might we consider "interdisciplinary" approaches?When are comparisons important?Why do we do case studies?What is the scale of our analysis?What happens when/if we approach global studies as studies that take a relational & transnational approach and focus on global circuits and flows?Let's also discuss methodological nationalism and its critiques

Quantitative methods such as surveys. Let's discuss the complexities. History of survey methods and the ways they have been used --> look at Shahrokni 2012: The politics of polling: Polling and the constitution of counter-publics during ‘reform’ in IranQualitative methods such as ethnography. Let's discuss the history of ethnography and its widespread use by feminists and critical scholars




Academic institutions? Government bodies? International agencies and organizations?Civil society organizations, NGOs? Thinkthanks?Which sector /groups are we serving?

What is the purpose of our study? Getting a degree? Fixing a problem? Expanding a field of inquiry? Commuity building?

For Whom?

For What?


With your project in mind, reflect on the following questions.

Whose interests are you planning to serve? How? Why?

What methods will you be using? Why?

This is usually what we call literature review. There might be different clusters. Where do you situate your research?

Think about your positionality

Whose interests are served by the research that is carried out in your field?

What is the dominant method of data collection & analysis?

What kind of knowledge have they produced?

Who are the dominant knowledge producers in your field?

Discussion Time

Jot down your thoughts. Draw concept maps.

To keep important points in mind you will occasionally receive handouts. Keep them handy!

Make a calendar with the deadlines both for this course and for your project. It will help you manage the workload!

Everything you need to know is in the syllabus. Can't find it? Email me!





Keep them handy!

 Victoria Donovan (2023) Against academic “resourcification”: collaboration as delinking from extractivist “area studies” paradigms, Canadian Slavonic Papers, 65:2, 163-173

 Moreton-Robinson, Aileen (2011) "The White Man’s Burden: Patriarchal White Epistemic Violence and Aboriginal Women’s Knowledges within the Academy," Australian Feminist Studies, 26(70): 413-431.

 Melany Cruz & Darcy Luke (2020) Methodology and academic extractivism: the neo-colonialism of the British university, Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 5:1-2, 154-170.


 Asselin, Hugo and Suzy Basil (2018) “Concrete Ways to Decolonize Research” International Journal for Critical Geographies 17(3): 643-650.

Next Week

Remember that we are a team. Use the collective wisdom! Discuss your work with the team members.

Good luck with your journey!