Over the past four years, in addition to creating engaging classes and steering the DiploLab, Assistant Professor Dr. Joseph Huddleston undertook two editorial positions, one for the Handbook of Research Methods in International Relations and one for Conflict and Peace in Western Sahara: The Role of the UN's Peacekeeping Mission (MINURSO) in which he and an alumnus of the School of Diplomacy wrote a chapter. Both projects began in 2019, and after three years of Covid-19 setbacks and publishing delays, the "Handbook of Research" was published in August of 2022, and the "Conflict and Peace" book is slated for publication by the end of this year.
Handbook of Research Methods in International Relations
When Edward Elgar Publishing accepted the book proposal from Dr. Huddleston and his co-editors Dr. Thomas Jamieson (University of Nebraska Omaha Associate Professor) and Dr. Patrick James (Dornsife Dean’s Professor of International Relations) the publishers granted the editors a large margin of freedom to write the book they wanted. This allowed Dr. Huddleston to utilize his role as lead editor and push for his vision of a book that answered the tricky questions he felt existing research handbooks overlooked.
During his own time in grad school, Dr. Huddleston recalled methodological articles—for example, on game theory or regression—that assisted scholars who already knew articles for formal modeling and regression tables that assisted a scholar if they already knew what they were doing. For those just getting started on either a new project or research in general, nothing helped guide a researcher to transform an idea into a project. As Dr. Wang teaches in the core class "The Art and Science of Negotiation," as is the case for all social sciences, the "science" technically provides rules for the correct way of doing things. Despite those hard rules, there still exists a finesse in the middle. Countless books and articles detail the "science" of research, but few have attempted to address the "art" of it. By emphasizing the "art" that goes into research design, the editors created a tool to fill the gap in information and walk with a researcher from start to finish.
The editors and publishers alike wanted the Handbook to reflect the reality of the International Relations field. The book carries a range of voices, and the authors mirror the global, dynamic, and diverse perspectives of top scholars in the field. The editors recruited junior and senior scholars, men, women, those with an international perspective, and leaders at US institutions. Finding those scholars was relatively easy as over two-thirds of those they originally asked wrote papers for the book.
When talking about the Handbook, which Dr. Huddleston affectionally calls the "Handiest Handbook," he said, "I think, along with Tom and Pat, we really wanted to make this useful for people all around, and I think we accomplished that."
Conflict and Peace in Western Sahara: The Role of the UN's Peacekeeping Mission (MINURSO)
In 2019, following his publication of "Can John Bolton Thaw Western Sahara’s Long-Frozen Conflict?" in Foreign Policy, Dr. János Besenyő, Head of the African Research Institute of Óbuda University, reached out to Dr. Huddleston initially to write a chapter for a book he and Yahia H. Zoubir, professor at the Kedge Business School, were putting together on the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The book would bring together different perspectives examining the MINURSO from historical, legal, military, and political perspectives while also encompassing bilateral relations, gender, and archeology.
Working with a Research Assistant in 2019, Dr. Huddleston drafted a chapter of the book focused on the United States' relationship with the mission. As Dr. Besenyo continued to gather the other articles, he started asking more and more for Dr. Huddleston’s opinion and eventually asked him to come on as an editor. In that position, he helped review chapters and respond to peer edits. Conflict and Peace in Western Sahara provides a deep dive into the complex geopolitical realities and circumstances on the ground in Western Sahara with perspectives from academics, lawyers, soldiers, and humanitarian aid workers. After three years of work, the book will be released at the end of the year!
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