The relevance of politically relevant dyads

Douglas Lemke, William Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Relevant dyads are pairs of contiguous states or pairs of states including at least one major power. They are argued to be the population of dyads at risk of international conflict and are increasingly commonly used as the cases analyzed by conflict researchers. Does reliance on relevant dyads (a nonrandom sample of all dyads) introduce threats to valid inference? The authors argue that relevant dyad usage might introduce related problems of measurement error and selection bias and investigate whether there is evidence of such potential problems existing in actual relevant dyad data sets. Results show evidence for both types of potential problems, but neither problem substantively affects estimates of conflict relationships. Therefore, relevant dyad usage is not especially objectionable due to either of these problems, and retrospective sampling might be an even more profitable course for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-144
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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