Early career scholars face increasing pressure to engage with policy audiences and practitioners. Most graduate programs do not train scholars in either the mechanics of engagement or the ethical considerations engagement engenders, even though an overwhelming majority of IR scholars believe scholars onboard responsibility for the policies their engagement informs. With the support of the Carnegie Corporation, the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy has begun to construct curriculum around responsible public engagement.
This curriculum brings together the experiences of Sié Center affiliates and a coalition of deeply policy-engaged scholars at other institutions. It offers a set of exercises, lectures, and group discussions intended for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and other early career scholars. The curriculum was piloted at the Responsible Public Engagement Institute (RPEI) in May of 2021 and will move forward with various relevant partners in coming years.
Our goal is neither to be grand arbiters of ethical engagement or develop a “gold standard” professional code of ethics. Instead, our aim is to create a space for deeper reflection on the various challenges that arise when considering policy engagement at any stage of the research process. We hope that in doing so, we will better equip future scholars with tools for navigating this increasingly complicated domain.