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21 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (1977)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr21 and id is 1 raw text is: 








Quantitative Studies in the

Balance of Power


AN   HISTORIAN'S REACTION



PAUL W. SCHROEDER
Department of History
University of Illinois



   Quantitative studies in the history of international relations have become increasingly
prominent in recent years, yet have been largely ignored by diplomatic historians. The
author, a diplomatic historian, examines a recent, promising effort to test balance of
power theory through a quantitative analysis of the events of European diplomatic
history, 1870-1881, as recorded by historians. He concludes that though the research
involved is impressive and the conclusions reached both sensible and provocative, the
project appears to ignore certain inherent limitations in its historical materials and certain
complexities of international relations in its efforts to achieve objective ratings of coopera-
tion vs. conflict, activity vs. passivity, and alignment vs. opposition. In addition, the
objective indices for power and status seem inadequate and misleading in important
respects.




  The application of quantitative and statistical methods to the
traditional materials  of diplomatic  history is no  longer a novelty  for
political scientists. Two  such  well-known   efforts in the last decade,
resulting in many   publications, have  been the project led by  North  at
Stanford   University,  applying  quantitative  content  analysis  to the
diplomatic  correspondence   of the European  powers  before World  War  I
(Zinnes  et al., 1961;  North  et al., 1963; Holsti  et al., 1968; Holsti,
1972; Choucri   and North,  1975), and  the work  of Singer and Small  on
the statistical analysis of wars and  alliance patterns in the nineteenth

JOURNAL  OF cONFLIcT RESOLUTION; vol. 21 No. I. March 1977
@  1977 Sage Publications. Inc.


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