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Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes

ISBN: 978-0-470-67262-4
292 pages
October 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes (0470672625) cover image


Dedicated to the empirical analysis of data from the world of international relations, SSIP scholars tend to focus on interstate conflicts, civil wars, and conflict management. The range of perspectives in this edited volume provide a comprehensive introduction to SSIP theory and methodology.

  • Fresh approach traces intellectual development of research approaches rather than merely summarizing results
  • Features original SSIP material not found in other books
  • Includes a number of essays with a broader assessment of SSIP methods - ideal for younger scholars interested in the approach
  • Includes recent SSIP analyses exploring issues such as civil wars
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

About the Contributors ix

Editors’ Introduction xiii
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Paul F. Diehl, and James D. Morrow

Section I The SSIP Approach 1

1 The Origins and Evolution of SSIP: How Methods Met Models, with a Short Interlude 3
Kelly M. Kadera and Dina Zinnes

2 Game Theory and Other Modeling Approaches 23
Frank C. Zagare and Branislav L. Slantchev

3 Review of Available Data Sets 43
Paul R. Hensel

4 Teaching the Scientific Study of International Politics 63
D. Scott Bennett

5 The Interaction of Theory and Data 81
James D. Morrow

Section II Causes of Interstate and Intrastate War 91

6 Systemic Theories of Conflict 93
Karen Rasler and William R. Thompson

7 Territory and Geography 115
Jaroslav Tir and John A. Vasquez

8 The Quest for Security: Alliances and Arms 135
Brett Ashley Leeds and T. Clifton Morgan

9 Programmatic Research on the Democratic Peace 151
Steve Chan

10 Domestic–International Conflict Linkages 171
Will H. Moore and Ahmer Tarar

11 Civil Wars 189
Idean Salehyan and Clayton L. Thyne

12 The Conduct and Consequences of War 209
Alyssa K. Prorok and Paul K. Huth

13 The Durability of Peace 233
Caroline A. Hartzell and Amy Yuen

Section III The Future of SSIP 251

14 The Past and Future of the Scientific Study of International Politics 253
Zeev Maoz

Index 271

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Author Information

Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is Professor of Political Science and Collegiate Scholar at the University of Iowa, USA. Co-director of the Issue Correlates of War Project and associate editor of Foreign Policy Analysis, she has published more than two dozen journal articles and book chapters and Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts (2011).

Paul F. Diehl is Henning Larsen Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. He has held faculty positions at the University of Georgia and SUNY-Albany. His recent books include The Dynamics of International Law (2010), Evaluating Peace Operations (2010), and The Politics of Global Governance: International Organizations in an Interdependent World (2010). 

James D. Morrow is Professor of Political Science and Research Professor at the University of Michigan, USA. He is the author of The Logic of Political Survival (2003) and Game Theory for Political Scientists (1994) as well as more than 30 articles in refereed journals and numerous other publications.

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“This is a superb survey of one of the leading research communities in the international relations field. It includes analyses of all the right topics by all the right people. The Guide is an invaluable resource both for the classroom and for the cutting-edge scholar.”—Jack S. Levy, Rutgers University

“Every once in a very long while a volume comes along that transforms our understanding of international politics. This is such a volume. It offers a comprehensive, clear, and compelling account of the scientific progress made over the past few decades thanks to SSIP. This is a volume that belongs on the syllabus of every introductory undergraduate and every introductory graduate-level course on international relations. It is a truly important book for anyone at any level who wants to understand international affairs.”—Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, NYU and Senior Fellow Emeritus, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

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