At conferences, at seminars, and on political science blogs, the potential utility of experimental methods for international relations (IR) research continues to be a hotly contested topic. Given the recent rise in creative applications of experimental methods, now is a useful moment to reflect more generally on the potential value of experiments to study international affairs, how these inherently micro-level methods can shed light on bigger-picture questions, what has been learned already, what goals are probably out of reach, and how various research agendas in IR might productively incorporate experiments.


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