KEY FEATURES: Wide interdisciplinary applicability with step-by-step examples drawn from a number of sciences and professional fields, including defense, medicine, education, and ecology, demonstrate the powerful application of information metrics to comparative case studies. Presentation of techniques that can be used broadly allows readers to apply what they learn in settings including business, finance, health care, environmental policy, security, and other settings where consequential decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty and complexity. Clear and accessible prose illustrated by concrete and carefully explained examples makes the methods easy to understand and immediately applicable. A concise review of the exciting intellectual foundations of information theory motivates student interest by linking research with critical real-world problems, from World War II cryptography to Cold War nuclear deterrence to solving modern cyber-security and strategic challenges. Appendices available both in the book and online provide a walkthrough of Excel or Google sheets for automating simple calculations, along with sample Excel sheets (Appendix A) and an implementation of the methods in the open source language, R (Appendix B).
Chapter 1: Enhancing Small-n Analysis: Information Theory and the Method of Structured-Focused Comparison
Enhancing Small-n Analysis: Information Theory and the Method of Structured-Focused Comparison
This is “the Information Age.” The explosion of digitized information has led to important innovations in scholarship across a broad range of fields. Most of these developments have been focused on the emerging computational technologies for efficiently processing and analyzing “big data,” the massive streams of digital information generated by our online lives. At the same time, however, appreciation has grown for the role of smaller, contextualized, and more detail-oriented case study techniques. This renewed focus on case studies is due both to the rise of increasingly complex and exclusionary quantitative techniques and to a better understanding of the promise of mixed methods, of working through problems at different levels of focus. Large-N ...