Friday, January 9, 2009

Politics of Coffee, Small-N Studies, and Crumbling Definition of the State

Theory Talks interviews Robert Bates"Robert Bates on the Politics of Coffee, Small-N Studies, and the Crumbling Definition of the State."
Social sciences in general and International Relations in particular is preoccupied with quantitative studies. As a result, individual case studies, or, in methodologically correct language, Small-N populations, have been somewhat discredited. In this Talk, Robert H. Bates, essentially an economic historian, explains amongst others how (single) case studies are just as valid as large-N studies, how coffee can illustrate the workings of international markets, and how the definition of the State should be reconsidered.

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