Quantitative Research

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Some scholars use quantitative methods in their study of the causes of conflict. Explain these methods and identify their strengths and weaknesses. The assignment should be 800-1000 words (excluding references). Assessment: ability to focus on and answer the question set; command of the material (including the wider academic debate); analysis and critical discussion around an argument or approach; logical structure of arguments; use of academic language; editing; introduction and conclusion; and referencing. * What are quantitative methods? How have these methods being used in the study of causes of conflicts? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these methods, as well as of the alternatives? Criticism of Collier and his quantitative methods by Keen.

Keen specifically critiques Paul Collier, a leading expert in greed vs. grievance theory, by claiming that Collier became too comfortable with “numbers”, and needed to rely more on the actual opinions of people involved in conflicts. He spoke of Collier’s work and said, “This is where econometrics tips over into arrogance and starts closing down the possibility of a genuine understanding of conflicts or, by extension, of a political settlement that addresses underlying grievances”.[26] He doesn’t believe that it can be dismissed so easily. He was documented saying, “It also annoys me that a lot of the ‘scientific air’ of the Collier work is quite bogus as the selection of proxies is so arbitrary”, which demonstrated a distinct attack on Collier’s work, which emphasizes quantitative data.[27] David Keen is one of the major critics of greed vs. grievance theory, defined primarily by Paul Collier, and argues the point that a conflict, although he cannot define it, cannot be pinpointed to simply one motive. He believes that conflicts are much more complex and thus should not be analyzed through simplified methods. He disagrees with the quantitative research methods of Collier and believes a stronger emphasis...
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