We deploy Waever's sociology of science approach in a critical comparison of the American and Japanese international relations academies. We argue that there are four great debates in the American academy, and four traditions of scholarship in the Japanese academy. We describe these debates and traditions in some detail, and identify and explain points of contact and difference between the two respective academies. We conclude by making a general case for methodological pluralism and offer reasons why the Japanese international relations academy is keen to sponsor a journal which is, in the words of Waever, able to 'draw on national traditions while keeping up with American developments'.
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