Looking around, I see articles on rebel governance in Colombia in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, decapitation strikes on insurgent groups in Iraq and Afghanistan in Security Studies, and the effects of rocket strikes from Gaza on Israeli voting in the American Political Science Review. All of these are both in mainstream political science journals and on important policy issues.
If Ricks prefers his policy-relevant research in book form, he’s in luck. Here are some books published so far in 2014 alone by political scientists or informed by political science. These aren’t idiosyncratic outliers; they’re published by the top university presses.
Policy relevance is a two-way street. If policymakers, journalists and analysts aren’t willing to read the relevant work out there (or to at least skim article abstracts), it’s not the fault of political scientists. All Ricks, and other Beltway insta-pundits, need to do is check out Google or the local library.