State-Making Lessons For International Relations Research

State-Making Lessons For International Relations Research

By Douglas Lemke, Vanderbilt University

Many of the central concerns of international relations—war, diplomatic relations, international trade and investment, and alliance politics—are also central to the state-making processes that are essential for the survival of states. The overlap between international relations and state making is profound but largely unrecognized. I present a framework emphasizing connections across these currently disparate areas of scholarship, thereby providing a more comprehensive basis for IR research. The framework I advance emphasizes the pursuit of capacity and legitimacy throughout a state’s existence, suggests new research topics, and raises new concerns about research design.

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