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What is the best type of data to use when doing research in your field of - Essay Example

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The driving forces behind the increased globalisation and international relations include faster and more efficient transport and communication systems and the…
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Download file to see previous pages e need to design and implement efficient international relations guidelines and practices, it has become imperative that more accurate international relations researches are conducted. Among the issues surrounding international relations researches is that of the best research method and type of data to be used. Central to these debates are quantitative and qualitative data, which are the two major types of data used in most disciplines. This paper explores the type(s) of data that is best suited for researching international relations, taking the stance that these two types of data can be used complimentarily in international relations research since each has its strengths and weaknesses, which could be complimented by the other.
That the two data types can be combined to ensure accurate international relations researches is supported by the fact that while quantitative data are numerical representations and the manipulations of the obtained observations to describe and explain international phenomena, qualitative data emphasises meanings and processes that may not be measured (Mahoney & Goertz, 2006). From these definitions, it is quite evident that both numerical and non-numerical aspects of international relations would be catered for if researchers combined both qualitative and quantitative data (Mahoney & Goertz, 2006). That is, qualitative data presents, interprets and explains non-numerical aspects of an observation so that underlying international relations patterns, issues and meanings are discerned and understood. In other words, the two types of data have relative values depending on the nature and the objectives of the international relations research to be conducted. The aspects of international relations issues that qualitative data may help explore and explain are issues whose quantity, intensity, amount or frequency may not be rigorously measured. In other words, this type of data would emphasise the social nature and the relationships of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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