Quantitative approaches

Authored by: Patrick M. Regan

Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  January  2013
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415690195
eBook ISBN: 9780203068175
Adobe ISBN: 9781135082130


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The study of conflict management and peace has a long tradition in the social sciences, much of it driven by definitional debates about what peace means or the analysis of specific cases where efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of a conflict have been successful (e.g., Wallensteen 2009; Fortna 2008; Hartzell and Hoddie 2007). We know enough about the processes of trying to generate peaceful outcomes to actually engage in the debates and discussions taking place in this volume. My contribution is to try to advance the study of peace, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and other forms of control over the tendency toward armed conflict by pushing the way we study peace in a different direction. I think we are best served by looking for general patterns in the data across a large sample of cross-national or cross-cultural environments, and to use those observed patterns to draw inference about what works, under what types of conditions, and in what time frames. Put differently, I'm going to make the case for the quantitative study of peacemaking that relies on data that is systematic, replicable, and broadly generalizable.

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