New Explorations into International Relations

Democracy, Foreign Investment, Terrorism, and Conflict

Title Details

Pages: 344

Illustrations: 52 tables, graphs, and figures

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 03/15/2016

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4908-4

List Price: $36.95


Pub Date: 03/15/2016

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4907-7

List Price: $120.95


Pub Date: 03/15/2016

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4906-0

List Price: $36.95

New Explorations into International Relations

Democracy, Foreign Investment, Terrorism, and Conflict

The case for more replication studies, more appropriate statistical analyses, and new ideas

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  • Description
  • Reviews

This book addresses a range of issues surrounding the search for scientific truths in the study of international conflict and international political economy. Unlike empirical studies in other disciplines, says Seung-Whan Choi, many political studies seem more competent at presenting theoretical conjecture and hypotheses than they are at performing rigorous empirical analyses. When we study global issues like democratic institutions, flows of foreign direct investment, international terrorism, civil wars, and international conflict, we often uncritically adopt established theoretical frameworks and research designs. The natural assumption is that well-known and widely cited studies, once ingrained within the tradition of the discipline, should not be challenged or refuted.

However, do such noted research areas reflect scientific truth? Choi looks closely at ten widely cited empirical studies that represent well-known research programs in international relations. His discussions address such statistical and theoretical issues as endogeneity bias, model specification error, fixed effects, theoretical predictability, outliers, normality of regression residuals, and choice of estimation techniques. In addition, scientific progress made by remarkable discoveries usually results from finding a new way of thinking about long-held scientific truths, therefore Choi also demonstrates how one may search for novel ideas at minimal cost by developing new research designs with original data.

Here is a valuable resource for students, scholars, and policy makers who want to quickly grasp the evolutionary pattern of scientific research on democracy, foreign investment, terrorism, and conflict; build their research designs and choose appropriate statistical techniques; and identify their own agendas for the production of cutting-edge research.

Demonstrating the fragility of the results on which many important international relations theories are based, Choi's book gives the reader a renewed appreciation for the vital role of replication in 'normal science' as an achievable goal rather than a rarefied, albeit unrealistic, Popperian ideal. We can only hope that more researchers devote their time to replicating foundational studies in international relations, for the sake of advancing the field and generating well-informed policy advice.

—Erin K. Jenne, H-Net Reviews

About the Author/Editor

SEUNG-WHAN CHOI is an associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.