Dyadic Research Designs: Progress or Postmortem?

To what extent are international relations scholars constrained in their ability to answer important questions by what has become the workhorse unit of observation for analyzing relational data: the dyad? Skyler Cranmer and Jim Desmarais argue that focusing on dyadic data has led scholarship to fail at properly characterizing relationships of interest in international relations data, while Paul Diehl and Thorin Wright (2016)and Paul Poast (2016) offer conditional defenses of using dyadic data. However, all three acknowlede that many of the problems identified in Cranmer and Desmaris (2016) carry with them both inferential and substantive merit. Journal space prevents a fuller exploration of this debate in the pages of International Studies Quarterly. Thus, to facilitate this important discussion, we invited eight scholars to weigh in on the question of dyadic data.

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  • By Scott Wolford
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