Conclusion: Prospects for Interpretive Quantification

Laura Sjoberg, J. Samuel Barkin

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The chapters in this volume have made this case across a wide variety of theoretical, epistemological, and methodological approaches, using an even wider variety of methods. The chapter authors show that both small tweaks and significant overhauls to traditional uses of quantitative, formal, and computational methods have substantive promise. The chapters fall at different places along the range of methods in IR– some use methods familiar to the social sciences in service of methodologies with which they are not frequently paired, while others introduce quantitative methods infrequently used in social sciences in service of constructivist and/or critical research agendas. Looking back at the chapters in this book and forward at the potential futures of interpretive quantification, this concluding chapter does three things. It reviews the eight substantive chapters in this volume, looking at both the potential and limitations of the specific methods used. It then discusses more broadly the relationship between method and theory, a relationship alluded to but not developed in the introduction to this volume. Finally, it discusses the potential uses of this volume, and ways forward from here in the discussion of quantitative methods and constructivist and critical theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterpretive Quantification
Subtitle of host publicationMethodological Explorations for Critical and Constructivist IR
EditorsJ. Samuel Barkin, Laura Sjoberg
Place of PublicationAnn Arbor
PublisherUniversity of Michigan Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-472-12265-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-472-07339-9, 978-0-472-05339-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • methodology
  • method
  • epistemology
  • international relations
  • constructivism
  • critical theory
  • quantitative methods
  • qualitative methods
  • positivism
  • post-positivism

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