chapter  9
15 Pages

Quantitative methods


This chapter uses US-led economic sanctions on Iran to demonstrate the utility of employing quantitative methods in critical, emancipatory analysis in Security Studies. It critiques the purely positivist application of quantitative tools that dominates the fi eld, and suggests that quantitative (particularly mathematical) methods can serve critical ends. By way of an example, it uses game theory to demonstrate that a state’s sense of self (or ‘ontological security’) can create incentives for the use of harmful sanctions even when such sanctions may run against their own material interest (and against the interests of others). It then suggests other mathematical methods that would be useful in a critical analysis of the sanctions regime on Iran.