Quite a few International Relations scholars agree that one of the most exciting recent developments in the field has been the rise of what Robert Keohane has termed ‘reflectivism’ (Keohane 1988).1 However, only few have recognized2 the major role that Hayward R.Alker, Jr has played in the rise of that movement.3 This fact alone would suffice for writing a chapter on Alker. What is even more noteworthy, however, is the emancipatory potential inherent in Alker’s development story: by showing how one can learn, and also develop, radically new approaches, Alker should be able to make us see the false necessity of the rigidities of a given academic character and goal. As scholars in the field, we could learn from Alker’s learning, not only from the innovative paths of his long

voyage. In other words, we should be interested in both what and how he has learned. Alker’s scientific career began with measuring politics and analysing the United Nations. In the early 1960s, the behaviouralist movement was about to reach its climax in the social sciences, particularly in the United States, while IR as a discipline was still dominated by the classical ‘political realism’ of Kennan, Morgenthau and Kissinger. Like many other peace researchers in the behaviouralist movement, Alker believed in the possibility that an improvement in political conditions might be stimulated with the help of knowledge produced with the Scientific Method. He also attacked the loose, journalistic style of writing IR that was common in the early 1960s.