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Dental Hygiene and Nuclear War: How International Relations Looks from Economics

Author: Barry J. Eichengreen, George & Helen Pardee Professor of Economics & Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Autumn 1998
International Organization

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This article adopts economics as a perspective from which to view recent research in international relations. The most telling difference between international relations and economics, it argues, is in the connection between theory and empirical work. The strength of economics is the complementary and mutually supporting character of theoretical and empirical work. In international relations, in contrast, the connections between theory and empirics are looser. As a consequence, research in international relations has not converged to a core of common theoretical assumptions and an arsenal of commonly accepted empirical techniques.