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I. International relations as venerable subject.
A. People were studying international relations before there were nations.
B. Kautilya, Sun Tzu, Thucydides, and Herodotus were the first philosophers and scientists to write about international relations more than 2,500 years ago.
C. The key fundamental law of international relations states that politics is rooted in domestic affairs.
D. The moral law causes people to remain subjected to their ruler and moral law restrains the use of force.
II. Methods to investigate the history of international relations are combining logic and evidence, mathematical method and statistical analysis.
A. The method of combining logic and evidence or case studies.
1. Knowledge of international relations will be improved.
2. The path to insight is to analyze individual events or, in other words, to develop a case study.
3. Case studies are effective in evaluating the verisimilitude between the theory and practice (action).
B. Statistical analysis suggests aims at investigating general patterns among the cases and examines large numbers of events.
1. Predicted patterns should include the probability distribution across the outcomes, not across deterministic results.
2. The method uncovers ideas and key points about the general orderliness of the origin of international relations.
3. In contrast to case study approach, statistical method probes the generality of the hypothesis under investigation, as well as its extreme validity.
C. Mathematical analysis ensures internal consistency in arguments about complex relations about variables.
1. Mathematics is claimed to be the best tool for pursuing logical analysis of the complex problems as the alternative contains greater ambiguity and imprecision in meaning.
2. Still many scientists denounce the importance of mathematical method in learning international relations as they argue that ‘the interesting problems of politics are too complex to be reduced to mathematical equations’, but mathematics is exact when dealing with complex problems.
3. Mathematical approach is necessary for linking case study and archival techniques.
III. Fundamental insight in the nature of international affairs through effectiveness and combination of key methods.
A. Case studies should be facilitated because of their nature unique and not indicative of general laws.
B. Productive collaboration with colleagues should be encouraged by combing mathematical, statistical and formal methods.
C. The benefits of case studies are well-known, whereas the benefits of logical and mathematical methods are still under debate.
D. Nowadays, all three methodologies are used for evaluation how international relations are shaped to domestic politics.