A conditional defense of the dyadic approach

Paul F. Diehl, Thorin Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We contend that the dyadic approach should be employed as a theoretically informed choice. All choices of units in modeling are simplifying. Current criticisms do not render dyadic approaches useless forms of simplification. Indeed, depending on the question and theory, dyadic approaches may be the most appropriate simplification of reality for scholars of international studies. The basic structure of the dyad, a two actor interaction, remains a useful simplification for multiple key questions in conflict research. As such, we offer a conditional defense of the dyadic approach in light of three elements: (i) the choice of level of analysis, (ii) the assumption of independence of cases, and (iii) the benefits accrued by past dyadic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


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