In political science, it simply implies the level of actors at which a researcher will aggregate the data.
In any study, the choice of actors or the unit of analysis has a bearing on the final generalization that is given by a study. In this perspective, the emergence of fallacies on the conclusion of a study will be as a result of not properly identifying the unit of analysis. In a study about the geopolitics of a country, for instance, the focus of the research could be trade relations. The selection of the actors in this study due to the interest and ideas about the actor could lead to a level of complications like cross referencing or fallacies (Babbie 2013). This article examines the possible set of units that relate to a research question about the geopolitics of China and its international partners in trade. Specifically, the units of analysis that relate to the research are discussed in details. It also observes the relevance of the units of analysis that will be selected for the investigation on the topic.
Depending on the research question and the motivation of the researcher, the development of the appropriate actors or even the units of analysis could be difficult or just impossible. In this case, the use of cross-referencing is used to create a correlation of the available information to the unit of analysis that has been selected. The difficulty in obtaining the data about the unit of study may also lead to the absence of this ambiguity which seldom happens, the choice of the unit of study is simplified. Problems like the ecological fallacy that results from using data that is meant for a group to make generalization is avoided.
In the case of geopolitical analysis of China and the trade relations, the major unit of analysis is the country which is China. This choice is provoked by the fact that much of the data that will be collected on the topic for purposes of analysis will have to do
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