Empowering Social Science Research in the Big-Data Era: Addressing Quantyphobia in IR Researches

https://doi.org/10.22146/ikat.v2i2.40431

Farizal Mohd Razalli(1*)

(1) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract


This paper tries to explore the employment of quantitative approach in political researches focusing on international relations (IR) or international politics. A debate emerged in the90s on whether IR or the field of international politics should be driven by quantitative(positivistic) approach at the expense of qualitative (interpretivist) approach. The debate then expanded to explicitly argue for an increased use of formal methods that are mathematically-based to study IR phenomena. It triggered then a quick reaction fromhardcore IR specialists who warned against mathematizing IR for fear of turning the field into a mechanical field that crunches numbers. Such a fear is further substantiated by theobservation that many quantitative works in IR have moved farther away from developing theory to testing hypotheses. Some scholars have even suggested that it is epistemologicallyrealism vs. instrumentalism; something that is unsurprising given the dominance of realism inIR for many years. This paper does not suggest that heavy emphasis on qualitative approach leads to a inferior research output. However, it does suggest an transformative incapability among IR scholars to accommodate to contemporary global changes. The big-data analyticshave affected the intellectual community of late with the influx of data. These data are bothqualitative and quantitative. Nonetheless, analyzing them requires one to be familiar with quantitative methods lest one risks not being able to offer a research outcome that is not only sound in its argumentation but also robust in its analytical logic. Furthermore, with so much data on the social media, it is almost unthinkable for meaningful interpretation tobe made without even the simplest descriptive statistical methods. The key findings revealthat in ensuring its relevance, international political researches have to start adapting to the contemporary changes by building new capability apart from upscaling existing capacity.


Keywords


Qualitative, Quantitative, Quantyphobia, Big-Data Analytics, IR Methodology, Social Science Research

Full Text:

PDF


References

Aronow, P., & Samii, C. (2016). Does Regression Produce Representative Estimates of Causal Effects? American Journal of Political Science, 60(1), 250-267.

Bas, M. (2012). Democratic Inefficiency? Regime Type and SuboptimalChoices in International Politics. The Journal of Conflict Resolution,56(5), 799-824.

Battigalli, P. (1997). On rationalizability in extensive games. Journal of Economic Theory, 74, 40-61.

Bellany, I. (1999). Modelling War. Journal of Peace Research, 36(6), 729-739.

Bennett, P. (1991). Modelling Complex Conflicts: Formalism orExpertise? Review of International Studies, 17(4), 349-364.
Bing, N. (2017). Barisan Nasional and the Chinese Communist Party:

A Case Study in China’s Party-Based Diplomacy. China Review, 17(1), 53-82.

Buchler, J. (2009). Teaching Quantitative Methodology to the Math Averse. PS: Political Science and Politics, 42(3), 527-530.

De Mesquita, B. B. (2010). The Predictioneer’s Game. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks.

Deutsch, K. W. (1966). Arms Control and the Atlantic Alliance. New York: Wiley.

Carr, E. H. (1946). The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919 – 1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Fearon, J. (1995). Rationalist Explanations for War. International Organization, 49(3), 379-414.

Fischer, A. R. H., Tobi, H. & Ronteltap, A. (2011). When natural met social: a review of collaboration between the natural and social sciences.Interdisciplinary Science Review 36(4), 341-358.

Gilpin, R. (1981). War and Change in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gowa, J., & Mansfield, E. (1993). Power Politics and International Trade.The American Political Science Review, 87(2), 408-420.

Hammond, P. (2007). Schumpeterian Innovation in Modelling Decicions, Games, and Economic Behavior. History of Economic Ideas, 15(1), 179-195.

Hoff, P., & Ward, M. (2004). Modeling Dependencies in International Relations Networks. Political Analysis, 12(2), 160-175.

Kim, J., & Ramirez, P. (2014). Regionalism and Rice Trade in Southeast and Northeast Asia: Making Liberalization Work. Journal of International and Area Studies, 21(2), 83-98.

King, G., & Zeng, L. (2001). Logistic Regression in Rare Events Data.Political Analysis, 9(2), 137-163.

Korab-Karpowicz, W.J. (2017). Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus: New Directions for the Development of Humankind. New York: Routledge. Kreps, D. M., & Wilson, R. (1982). Sequential equilibria. Econometrica 50, 863-894.

Krippendorff, E. (1987). The Dominance of American Approaches in International Relations. Journal of International Studies, 16(2), 207-214.

Kristóf, T. (2006). Is it possible to make scientific forecasts in social sciences? Futures 38, 561-574.

Mares, D. (1988). Middle Powers under Regional Hegemony: To Challenge or Acquiesce in Hegemonic Enforcement. International Studies Quarterly, 32(4), 453-471.

Mearsheimer, J. J. (1994). The False Promise of International Institutions.International Security, 19(3), 5-49.

Miller, J. G. (1978). Living Systems. United States of America: McGraw- Hill.

Moorthy, R., & Benny, G. (2012). Is an “ASEAN Community” Achievable?Asian Survey, 52(6), 1043-1066.

Moul, W. (1982). Coloring by Numbers: Comments on a Quantitative Study of Quantitative Studies of International Politics. Review of International Studies, 8(2), 129-133.

Nicholson, M. (1989). Formal Theories in International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J. & Leech, N. L. (2005). Taking the “Q” out of research:teaching research methodology courses without the divide between quantitative and qualitative paradigms. Qual. Quant. 39(3), 267-296.

Perea, A. (2010). Backward Induction versus Forward Induction Reasoning. Games, 1, 168-188.

Putnam, R. (1988). Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two- Level Games. International Organization, 42, 427-460.

Rathbun, B. (2012). Politics and Paradigm Preferences: The Implicit Ideology of International Relations Scholars. International Studies Quarterly, 56(3), 607-622.

Richardson, L. (1960). Arms and Insecurity. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Boxwood Press.

Schweller, R. (1997). New Realist Research on Alliances: Refining, NotRefuting, Waltz’s Balancing Proposition. The American Political Science Review, 91(4), 927-930.

Sovacool, B., & Vivoda, V. (2012). A Comparison of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese Perceptions of Energy Security. Asian Survey, 52(5), 949-969.

Tadelis, S. (2013). Game Theory: An Introduction. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Tobi, H. & Kampen, J. K. (2018). Research design: the methodology for interdisciplinary research framework. Qual. Quant. 52, 1209-1225.Vasquez, J. (1987). The Steps to War: Toward a Scientific Explanation of

Correlates of War Findings. World Politics, 40(1), 108-145. Wayman, F. W. & Diehl, P. F. (1994). Recontructing Realpolitik. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Wendt, A. (2015). Quantum Mind and Social Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/ikat.v2i2.40431

Article Metrics

Abstract views : 719 | views : 549

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Farizal Mohd Razalli

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

View My Stats