Level of analysis, "Level of analysis" in political science

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Summary

The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of observation" in that the former refers to a more or less integrated set of relationships while the latter refers to the distinct unit from which data have been or will be gathered. Together, the unit of observation and the level of analysis help define the population of a research enterprise.

Details

In political science, level of analysis is generally divided into three categories - individual, state, and international system. Although, the three levels of analysis cannot describe every effect and there is unlimited number of levels between the three primary ones, levels of analysis will help understand how one force in political power affects another. Generally, power is the concept that collects all the analysis together. For example, the struggle for power may be the cause of war, but the struggle for power may originate in the individual human being's lust for power. The lust for power is individual level of analysis, while the struggle for power is systemic level of analysis.

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