Introduction to the Special Issue
This special issue is devoted to original articles that reflect recent progress in one of the most exciting developments in Political Science, the National Science Foundation's (NSF) initiative called Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM). This initiative reflects the ideas and hard work of the Political Science team there, Jim Granato and Frank Scioli, backed up by the contributions of an EITM panel that assembled at NSF in July 2001, some of whose observations we mention below. The challenge set by the EITM program is straightforward: to improve our theoretical work so that it yields more testable hypotheses and to improve our methodological work so that testing is made more effective and informative about theories. It is hard to object to this, but it also turns out to be hard to meet fully. The EITM initiative contains several components designed to close the gap between theoretical derivation and empirical test. This issue represents one component, presenting some of the most innovative work in the discipline on the current research frontier in EITM.
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