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Quantitative Methods:Concepts,Principles,and Implementation
Author(s): 
Pages: 5-25+156
Year: Issue:  1
Journal: World Economics and Politics

Keyword:  quantitative methodspositivismhypothesis testingscientific methodsfalsification;
Abstract: With a decades-long accumulation of empirical data and the dominance of middle-range and micro theories in IR studies,quantitative methods have become one of the most important research approaches in International Relations(IR)and the necessity in IR scholars’ toolboxes.However,there are serious misunderstandings and misimplementation of quantitative methods that are frequently and repeatedly observed in the IR community and beyond.This paper is intended to introduce and clarify the most crucial concepts,principles and implementation rules of quantitative methods,especially those that are commonly neglected or misunderstood.The most well-known advantage of quantitative methods lies in their transparency,replicability,and standardization.But quantitative methods cannot be used to answer many types of questions,such as normative or historical research topics.The practitioners of quantitative methods have to keep in mind the clear boundaries and limitations of quantitative methods,abide by the rules and principles,and be honest and cautious.Strictly sticking to the rules and procedures is crucial for individual researchers to produce high-quality research and for the development of International Relations as a research field.
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