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From A Study of War to Peace Research: Some Criteria and Strategies

J. David Singer
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 14, No. 4 (Dec., 1970), pp. 527-542
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/173355
Page Count: 16
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From A Study of War to Peace Research: Some Criteria and Strategies
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Abstract

A brief critique of the pioneering efforts of Wright and others in generating evidence on the causes of war, followed by two sets of suggested criteria which might guide future research. One is the scientific quality of the knowledge generated, in terms of its accuracy, generality, and its position on the correlation-causation continuum. The other is the relevance of the knowledge in terms of its explanatory power and its susceptibility to human intervention. Critical also is the specification and measurement of the outcome variable whose incidence we seek to explain. The author calls for an end to conjectural essays on the importance of any single variable, encourages further efforts to build multi-variate causal models, and urges that highest priority go to the systematic search for correlational knowledge now. As the latter increases, computer simulation is emphasized as the most promising strategy for the integration of our correlational knowledge and the testing of explanatory models. An applied science of war prevention is seen as the logical consequence of the research begun by Wright.

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