Quantitative Methods in Peace Research

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Smith, Ron (1998) Quantitative Methods in Peace Research, Journal of Peace Research 35(4): 419–427.

Quantitative methods are an important component of peace research, since many of the issues addressed are inherently quantitative - the frequency and intensity of conflict, or the determination of military expenditures, for instance. This article argues that quantitative peace research could be improved if authors put more emphasis on the substantive issues and less on the mechanical application of rule-based, statistical techniques. After some methodological discussion, seven questions are posed that quantitative researchers might ask themselves; an attempt is made to show why these questions are important. If quantitative peace researchers asked themselves these questions more often, the substantive contribution of quantitative peace research could be increased.