Thursday, December 7, 2017
WHEN I WAS in college, and even when I was in law school, I always used the phrase “levels of analysis” whenever I joined debate competitions. As the second speaker, whether in Oxford-Oregon or Parliamentary debate, I was tasked to argue on the advantages or disadvantages of the proposition or motion.
Using the “levels of analysis” helped me a lot to ace and survive the seven-minute speech. However, there are people who use this phrase smooth and straightforward.
What does it mean when we say “levels of analysis” in political science perspective?
My undergraduate course was Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and we were taught in our International Relations subject that there are levels of generalization to help understand highly complex problems in world politics. They are the individual, state or society, and the international system.
According to our teacher, power is the concept that collects all the analysis together as a discipline. Power is needed to approach international politics and its concepts.
The individual level of analysis refers to the cause of events in individual leaders or decision-makers within a particular state. It concentrates on individuals who identify the characteristics of human decision-making.
The state or society level of analysis refers to the causes in the character of national or local system of specific states. This level may come from various characteristics of the national or local system. For example, if there is war, this is caused by warlike states and not by misguided people or the structure of power in the international system. According to one source, a failed state usually means an institutional breakdown at national level of analysis, whereas a rogue state often implies wicked intentions from individual.
The international level of analysis comes from the outcome of individuals, groups, state, non-state and natural conditions. This is the most comprehensive level of analysis. The focus is on the system composed of similar and sovereign states. This drives behavior in world politics.
I used these levels of analysis to show the adjudicators on how the motions could affect the individual, state and the international community. Is it beneficial or risky? I argued that this is a part of a social structure and that they should have the same means to achieve the same end results. It should result in looking at the whole picture.
The purpose of these levels of analysis is to signify and address the problems and solutions to the world. These are alternatives that can be used to affect and approach various factors from the individual to international level. I hope lawmakers will use these in resolving the issues faced by the country.
(Atty. Ayin Dream D. Aplasca practices her profession in Iloilo City. She may be reached thru email@example.com/PN)