Multiple Correspondence Analysis in International Relations

  • Médéric Martin-Mazé
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


The chapter showcases the benefits of resorting to multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) in enquiring international relations (IRs). To do so, it recounts how I investigated the aid that Central Asian States receive, usually in the form of projects, from international organizations (IOs) in the area of border security. I first turned to qualitative interviews with actors working “in the field” to deliver this assistance directly in contact with Central Asian beneficiaries. Those revealed a set of heated struggles over who is the most legitimate actor of border security in this region of the world. But, simultaneously, no one agreed on the hierarchy resulting from those struggles. MCA helped solving this conundrum by mapping out the positions that actors occupy in their operational environment, and from which they talk. They show which actors are more autonomous than others, and how some IOs remain heavily development-driven while others implement security-oriented projects. As such, MCA provides a promising venue for scholars who try to work through those complex socio-bureaucratic transnational settings that make the bread and butter of IR research.


  1. Boltanski, Luc, and Ève Chiapello. 2005. The New Spirit of Capitalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Bourdieu, Pierre, and Monique de Saint-Martin. 1978. Le patronat. Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 20–21: 2–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1999. Une révolution conservatrice dans l’édition. Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 126 (1): 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Elias, Norbert. 2000. The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psycho-genetic Investigations. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Lebaron, Frédéric. 2007. Central Bankers in the Global Field of Power: A ‘Social Space’ Approach. Sociological Review 56 (1): 121–144.Google Scholar
  6. Le Roux, Brigitte, and Henry Rouanet. 2010. Multiple Correspondence Analysis. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Martin-Mazé, Médéric. 2015. L’extension transnationale du domaine de la lutte symbolique: comment les savoirs d’État sur les frontières passent-ils les frontières de l’État? Cultures et Conflits 98: 53–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ragazzi, Francesco. 2014. A Comparative Analysis of Diaspora Policies. Political Geography 41: 74–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Médéric Martin-Mazé
    • 1
  1. 1.University Paris 8/CRESPPA-LabToPSaint-DenisFrance

Personalised recommendations