Systemism, social mechanisms, and scientific progress: A case study of the international crisis behavior project

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (3):352-370 (2004)
Systemism and social mechanisms, as articulated by Bunge, are concepts with great potential for application to assessment of research progress. This study will use the conceptual tools made available by systemism and social mechanisms to evaluate the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) Project as a scientific effort toward the greater understanding of crises in world politics. Systemism and social mechanisms are articulated as key concepts in the quest for scientific progress. The goals and basic characteristics of the ICB Project as a scientific venture then are described. The ICB Project is assessed in terms of how well it lives up to standards for scientific progress. Finally, conclusions and ideas about future research are presented. The basic finding of this study is that the ICB Project is quite successful in meeting the standards for scientific progress entailed by the concepts of systemism and social mechanisms. Key Words: scientific progress • international relations • international crises • paradigm.
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