Political science


Political science research methodologies require a firm base in the process of analyzing different types of data obtained. Hence as a subdivision of the social science, it is mainly concerned with the analyzing and description of political issues and more preferably governmental process and institutions unlike the elements used in the laboratory as well as numbers in an equation, people often act in a very predictable way (Marsh & Stoker, 2002 p.67). However, because of this, research in political science mainly requires a firm research base for it to be valid (Burnham, 2004 p.457). Fortunately, there have been several methods of research which have been used to deliver reliable and solid information relevant to political scientists.  However, in our case there is several research methodologies which have been used hence the analysis of the research design, data collection and analyses as well as the resources used (Kellstedt and Whitten, 2009 p.197).

Research design 

Like any other science, political science research endeavors to obtain the fact on a specific situation through different hypotheses validity testing (Marsh & Stoker, 2002 p.76). However, in order to do these in a more timely manner they always require a plan of action Hence in political science research, research design acts as a primary plan of action which designs the plan parameters, what variables and constants exist and the way the researcher is anticipating to study the sampling for the purpose of obtaining answers to their research (Pierce, 2008 p.87). For example, in this journal which is being analyzed the research design has two main features whereby the researcher used a data set where the political leaders acted as the unit of analysis of the data set as well as using a model system of equations which enables the reciprocal relationship between the lose of office risk and starting a conflict risk (Marsh and Stoker, 2002 p.97).

Moreover, the researcher had to model a quantitative analysis technique where by the leader year specification was adopted where by the leader who is holding the office in a certain year is regarded as the unit of analysis which is under investigation. This innovation is of a particular significance incase there was a leadership change in a country (Burnham, 2004 p.460). For instance, in this research the data set comprise of leaders from 162 nations whose number is 12,505 and the observations made over a span of 54 years. The term of each leader in office was split into observations made yearly because most of the explanatory variables used were annually measured, whereby a total of 8,855 observations were made (Kellstedt and Whitten, 2009 p.219).

However, the other major innovative aspect in this research design is incorporation of a statistical estimator (Chiozza and Goemans, 2003 p.167). This is because in order to model the relation which is reciprocal between conflict initiation and losing office, there was the need to have a simultaneous equation system estimation which consists of two dichotomous variables which are endogenous. Thus this class of model is estimated by use of a double stage probit model which is endogenous to least squares which are also a two-stage model, but for the former the yielded estimates are consistent (Kellstedt & Whitten, 2009 p.232).

Statistical analysis of the data

This is also one of the political science primary research methods. It mainly deals with the analysis, interpretation as well as presentation of the collected data thus allowing researcher in political science to use the data which is available on individuals and population in a certain area in order to draw conclusions on the decisions they expect to make in future. However, in our journal the data analysis was reported in terms of four equations whereby two of the equations were structural whereas the other two were reduced form equations (Chiozza and Goemans, 2003 p.153).

In order for the results to be obtained from the model which is a two-stage probit the researcher therefore had to consider the whole system of the equation. This is because the reduced form equation usually gives an overall effect of every variable, whereas the direct effects are reported by the structural equations (Marsh and Stoker, 2002 p.98). Thus, through a careful examination of regime type variable effects shows the way leaders of all the four regime types were affected by the consideration of the tenure in their decisions to start international conflicts (Burnham, 2004 p.448). The data analysis also involves summarizing the conflicts initiation estimate probabilities as well as loss of office under various explanatory variable configurations. Thus, this enables the creation of a set of leaders of hypothetical type and measures their likelihood to lose office and start conflict. Hence an overall probability of a leader to start crisis, on average is that any leader has relatively 1% chance at any given year to initiate a crisis (Pierce, 2008 p.78).


This study shows that most of the international conflicts are likely to be endogenous to the leader tenure expectations. Thus, the probabilities of the leaders to lose office increase with crisis increase risk. This was able to be determined through  a proper analysis of the data obtained in the study hence this emphasizes on the importance of proper research design, data collection and  analysis method in any study in order to improve the credibility of the obtained findings. Thus, in our journal the study was properly organized hence the hypotheses was easily tested as well as putting into consideration both dependent and explanatory variables.



Burnham, P. 2004. Research Methods in Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chiozza, G., and Goemans, H. E. 2003. Peace through Insecurity: Tenure and International Conflict, The Journal of Conflict Resolution. Vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 443-467

Kellstedt, P. M., and Whitten, G. D. 2009. The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. Texas: Cambridge University Press.

Marsh, D., and Stoker, G. (Eds). 2002. Theory and Methods in Political Science (2nd ed.). Hampshire, England: Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Pierce, R. 2008. Theory Methods in Political Science: a practical guide. Thousands Oaks, California: SAGE Publications Limited.