Introduction: Why Quantitative Methods for Constructivist and Critical Theorizing?

J. Samuel Barkin, Laura Sjoberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This is a book about broadening our thinking about research in international relations. Our goal is practical: showing the variety of ways in which scholars can design research that will produce useful analysis of social and political life. We focus on international relations as a discipline, but our argument applies across the social sciences, and complements discussion to be found in other fields such as psychology. This introductory chapter lays out an argument that IR research has largely misinterpreted the relationships among epistemology, inference, methodology, and method, before suggesting a reinterpretation that breaks down the traditional, assumed pairings of research paradigms, philosophies of science, and particular methods in the discipline. It then suggests that a pairing of quantitative methods and critical and/or constructivist IR research has payoffs both in terms of the quality of research done and the ways that epistemology and method are thought about in the field.
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 Florida
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-472-12265-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-472-07339-9, 978-0-472-05339-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • critical theory
  • constructivist theory
  • quantitative
  • qualitative
  • methods
  • post-positivism
  • positivism
  • epistemology
  • methodology

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