Authentic methods for emancipatory peace research: Alker’s legacy in relatus and pragmatic analysis
Introduction Although Hayward Alker pioneered and early championed the application of advanced statistical modeling techniques in political science and international studies (Alker 1965), he later became its leading critic. He acknowledged the modest achievements of quantitatively oriented political methodologists. For some questions, such quantitative techniques as factor analysis, causal modeling, and time-series analysis, among others, have aided the production of valuable insights into political processes. But Alker also noted a persistent unease among quantitative methodologists. This unease or “malaise” at least partly stemmed from criticisms directed toward quantitatively-oriented scholars from interpretivists of various stripes (e.g., constructivists, post-modernists, post-structuralists, post-positivists), whose practices of inquiry tend toward historical narrative and even literary criticism. Some quantitative methodologists simply dismiss their interpretivist critics with little if any consideration of their arguments. Some point to marginal modifications they have made to statistical techniques to address problems they have encountered. Nevertheless, as Alker observed, they regularly betray their own dissatisfaction, their inauthenticity malaise.