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“Archives and Inference:” NSA Professor Darnton’s Article Explores US Entry in WWII

February 1, 2018

The journal International Security has published a new article by NSA Professor Christopher Darnton, titled “Archives and Inference: Documentary Evidence in Case Study Research and the Debate over U.S. Entry into World War II.” In the article, Professor Darnton critiques the use and misuse of primary sources in international relations research, including arguments over whether public opinion constrains presidents with respect to the use of force. In the article, he offers several recommendations for how to execute more rigorous and persuasive case studies. He argues that instead of cherry-picking evidence to support an argument, scholars and students need to think strategically about the selection and deployment of primary sources. 

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