Improving Quantitative Studies of International Conflict: A Conjecture (ICPSR 1218)

Published: May 2, 2000

Principal Investigator(s):
Nathaniel L. Beck, University of California-San Diego; Gary King, Harvard University; Langche Zeng, George Washington University and Harvard University

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01218.v1

Version V1

In this article, the authors address a well-known but infrequently discussed problem in the quantitative study of international conflict: despite immense data collections, prestigious journals, and sophisticated analyses, empirical findings in the literature on international conflict are often unsatisfying. Many statistical results change from article to article and specification to specification. Accurate forecasts are nonexistent. The authors offer a conjecture about one source of this problem: the causes of conflict, theorized to be important but often found to be small or ephemeral in prior research, are indeed tiny for the vast majority of dyads, but they are large, stable, and replicable wherever the ex ante probability of conflict is large. The authors provide a direct test of their conjecture by formulating a statistical model that includes its critical features. The approach, a version of a "neural network" model, uncovers some structural features of international conflict and also functions as an evaluative measure by forecasting. Moreover, it is easy to evaluate whether the neural network model is a statistical improvement over the simpler models commonly used.

Beck, Nathaniel L., King, Gary, and Zeng, Langche. Improving Quantitative Studies of International Conflict: A Conjecture. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000-05-02. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01218.v1

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National Science Foundation

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging

(1) The file submitted is beckkingzeng.zip, which unzips to data and program files that include a readme file. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

2000-05-02

2000-05-02

Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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