Social Scientist. v 3, no. 33 (April 1975) p. 54.


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MOTES

Mathematical Methods for Analysing International Relations

DECISION-MAKING in any sphere of public activity must be preceded, as in technology, by serious scientific research and in our day it is inconceivable without quantitative, mathematical methods. There are objective laws in all fields, including the world of social processes, and these laws must be taken into account in the scientific elaboration of problems.

A scientific theory is not only a means of constructing models, but is itself a special kind of model of the objects of its study. Unlike a direct model (a pattern of reduced size, for instance) a theory is an indirect model, that is, a system of numerous interconnected elements, such as equations, describing the object.

Such a system is definite integral formation: it cannot be resolved into its elements, because these are inseparably linked with one another, calling for a comprehensive study of all its elements and the links between them. This is imperative for scientific analysis. As Lenin said, "We must take not individual fact, but the sum total of facts, without a single exception." The merit of strictly formulating the tasks and methods of investigating the system belongs to dialectical materialism. A brilliant example of this is provided in investigations by Marx and Lenin into the extremely complicated and constantly changing system of economic relations in capitalist society.

The construction and study of models, particularly such complex ones as sociological models, require the use of many branches of modern mathematics: statistical methods of probabilities, correlational analysis, the theory of information, the theory of decisions, and the theory of games. And this, in turn, poses the question of quantification, that is, quantitative measurement of all indices, including qualitative ones. Without this, it is impossible either to compare and interpret in the same terms (he results obtained or to apply the mathematical methods.

As a rule, measurement implies a procedure by which the measured object is compared to some standard and acquires numerical expression. Quantitative and qualitative analysis, however, cannot be separated from each other as done by bourgeois scientists. Measurement in this instance is not only a quantitative procedure. In the process of comparing objects,



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