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describe two methods that are used to study the problem of human trafficking within and across borders. Compare and contrast the two methodological approaches. APA format.
Expansion on above:
There are two main categories of research methods used to analyze global policy issues, quantitative and qualitative. For the 6-1 Discussion, the initial post should describe the types of methods that the groups/organizations (highlighted in the Module Six overview) apply to evaluate the problem of human trafficking within and across borders. Compare and contrast the methodological approaches used by each organization. The Module six overview provides links and names of the organizations to focus your discussion and links to articles for additional information. The Module six introduction provides descriptions of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Here are the links:
Here is the Module Overview
Whereas theories are used to explain and, in some cases, offer solutions to global policy problems, methodological approaches are the formal tests that researchers use to test the validity of those theories. The two common types of methods are quantitative and qualitative. Both methods have a similar goal—to identify causality.
Quantitative methods refer to the use of statistics and numbers to test a theory. From the late 1970s to the late 1990s, the publication of quantitative research in international relations increased from 26% to roughly 43%, thus showing its growing prevalence within the field (Sprinz & Wolinsky-Nahmias, 2002). Many of these studies use quantitative methods to explain the causes of war and peace, global security, and firm behavior within the international market. Researchers who use this method typically identify a single explanation for any given phenomenon.
For instance, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (1992) seeks to explain “why states initiate wars and win them” (p. 141). He finds that the rational choice theory, in which states behave as individual actors interested in maximizing benefits and reducing costs, best explains why states go to war and some actually win. To arrive at this conclusion, Bueno de Mesquita employs specific mathematical models to test the validity of rational choice theory in explaining wars between states and final outcomes.
The use of quantitative methods has a number of benefits. A quantitative method allows a researcher to test the degree to which “the empirical expectations generated by theories are consistent with reality” (Braumoeller & Sartori, 2002, p. 129). Also, in a quantitative method, the emphasis on large-N studies (a large number of cases) makes it possible to generalize (Braumoeller & Sartori, 2002). Finally, statistical analyses require explicit assumptions and precise information (Braumoeller & Sartori, 2002).
Even with the positive aspects of quantitative methods, other researchers have fully embraced the qualitative method to test existing theories.
Rather than using numbers and statistical modeling, qualitative studies rely on a variety of sources that do not include numbers, such as personal interviews. Qualitative methods have evolved from being merely descriptive and subjective during the 1950s and 1960s to being more scientific and leading to testable theories by the mid- to late 1990s (Levy, 2002).
Qualitative research complements quantitative research by offering rich studies of a single or a few cases. Qualitative research consists of small-N studies, which refer to only a few cases. In their critique of large-N studies, George and Bennett (2005) write, “Such a shift to a higher level of generality eliminates the possibility of a more differentiated analysis and reduces the richness of empirical studies” (p. 243). Furthermore, the identification of a single causal factor ignores the variety of causal variables that may include economic, political, historical, and social factors. George and Bennett (2005) write, “While moving down the ladder of generality increases richness and raises observed correlations, it comes at the cost of parsimony and generalizability” (p. 243). In other words, qualitative methods allow the researcher to study a single case or a few cases in-depth and identify multiples causes of a particular outcome. However, the final explanations are more complex and less applicable across the board.
Qualitative methods have been used in studies on international trade bargaining. For example, John Odell (2000) studied specific trade negotiations to understand the types of strategies that states use and how those strategies impact the final outcome: “[C]ase studies report much more information about the negotiators’ beliefs, tactics, context, and outcomes than would be reported if these dimensions were reduced to statistical variables” (p. 22).
“Generalizations are never sufficient for understanding any particular event,” writes Odell (2000, p. 10). However, other researchers argue that qualitative methods can still produce generalizable results. Their findings are generalizable to cases that exhibit similar specific conditions. For instance, Bennett (2002) distinguishes between rich and broad generalizations, in which the former provides rich information about “small and well-defined populations or sub-types” (p. 43).
Later works have embraced both types of methods to provide an even richer yet broadly generalizable study. King, Keohane, and Verba (1994) find that the best studies include features from both quantitative and qualitative methods. One study that combines both methods is Small States in the European Union (2010). In this book, Diana Panke uses statistics to identify the different strategies that small states within the European Union (EU) use to overcome their size disadvantage during negotiations. Panke interviews the key players in specific EU negotiations in which small states were able to negotiate successfully, and she uses this information to draw conclusions as to what contributed to small state bargaining success.


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