ABSTRACT

A substantial share of academic research on political conflict, especially in the subfield of international relations, has involved studies with country-year as the unit of analysis. In part, this reflects the traditional interest in interstate conflict and its causes, onset, duration, impact, termination, and recurrence. Also, statistical estimations to assess factors associated with forms of large-scale violence are enabled by the availability of comprehensive cross-national datasets with annual, country-level observations. Even revolutions, riots, and genocides are frequently examined in relation to states-considering risks and actual exposures-and as undifferentiated events with overall characteristics. Qualitative research tends to afford better insight into the underlying dynamics of these events, but with certain inherent shortcomings in the ability to investigate, understand, and compare instances, to test theories, and to generalize findings.