Field Research in Political Science

Author: Diana Kapiszewski
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107006034
Release Date: 2015-03-19
Genre: Political Science

Explains how field research contributes value to political science by exploring scholars' experiences, detailing exemplary practices, and asserting key principles.

Interview Research in Political Science

Author: Layna Mosley
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801467967
Release Date: 2013-05-03
Genre: Social Science

Interviews are a frequent and important part of empirical research in political science, but graduate programs rarely offer discipline-specific training in selecting interviewees, conducting interviews, and using the data thus collected. Interview Research in Political Science addresses this vital need, offering hard-won advice for both graduate students and faculty members. The contributors to this book have worked in a variety of field locations and settings and have interviewed a wide array of informants, from government officials to members of rebel movements and victims of wartime violence, from lobbyists and corporate executives to workers and trade unionists. The authors encourage scholars from all subfields of political science to use interviews in their research, and they provide a set of lessons and tools for doing so. The book addresses how to construct a sample of interviewees; how to collect and report interview data; and how to address ethical considerations and the Institutional Review Board process. Other chapters discuss how to link interview-based evidence with causal claims; how to use proxy interviews or an interpreter to improve access; and how to structure interview questions. A useful appendix contains examples of consent documents, semistructured interview prompts, and interview protocols. Contributors: Frank R. Baumgartner, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Matthew N. Beckmann, University of California, Irvine; Jeffrey M. Berry, Tufts University; Erik Bleich, Middlebury College; Sarah M. Brooks, The Ohio State University; Melani Cammett, Brown University; Lee Ann Fujii, University of Toronto; Mary Gallagher, University of Michigan; Richard L. Hall, University of Michigan; Marie Hojnacki, Pennsylvania State University; David C. Kimball, University of Missouri, St. Louis; Beth L. Leech, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Julia F. Lynch, University of Pennsylvania; Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University; Lauren Maclean, Indiana University; Layna Mosley, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Robert Pekkanen, University of Washington; William Reno, Northwestern University; Reuel R. Rogers, Northwestern University

Process Tracing Methods

Author: Derek Beach
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472051892
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Social Science

The first practical guide for using process tracing in social science research

A Tale of Two Cultures

Author: Gary Goertz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691149714
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Political Science

Some in the social sciences argue that the same logic applies to both qualitative and quantitative methods. In A Tale of Two Cultures, Gary Goertz and James Mahoney demonstrate that these two paradigms constitute different cultures, each internally coherent yet marked by contrasting norms, practices, and toolkits. They identify and discuss major differences between these two traditions that touch nearly every aspect of social science research, including design, goals, causal effects and models, concepts and measurement, data analysis, and case selection. Although focused on the differences between qualitative and quantitative research, Goertz and Mahoney also seek to promote toleration, exchange, and learning by enabling scholars to think beyond their own culture and see an alternative scientific worldview. This book is written in an easily accessible style and features a host of real-world examples to illustrate methodological points.

Process Tracing

Author: Andrew Bennett
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107044524
Release Date: 2014-11-13
Genre: Political Science

This book provides empirically grounded conceptual, design and practical advice on conducting process tracing, a key method of qualitative research.

Advances in Comparative Historical Analysis

Author: James Mahoney
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107110021
Release Date: 2015-07-02
Genre: Political Science

Situates comparative-historical analysis within contemporary debates in political science and explores the latest theoretical and conceptual advances.

Political Ethnography

Author: Edward Schatz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226736784
Release Date: 2013-02-11
Genre: Social Science

Scholars of politics have sought in recent years to make the discipline more hospitable to qualitative methods of research. Lauding the results of this effort and highlighting its potential for the future, Political Ethnography makes a compelling case for one such method in particular. Ethnography, the contributors amply demonstrate in a wide range of original essays, is uniquely suited for illuminating the study of politics. Situating these pieces within the context of developments in political science, Edward Schatz provides an overarching introduction and substantive prefaces to each of the volume’s four sections. The first of these parts addresses the central ontological and epistemological issues raised by ethnographic work, while the second grapples with the reality that all research is conducted from a first-person perspective. The third section goes on to explore how ethnographic research can provide fresh perspectives on such perennial topics as opinion, causality, and power. Concluding that political ethnography can and should play a central role in the field as a whole, the final chapters illuminate the many ways in which ethnographic approaches can enhance, improve, and, in some areas, transform the study of politics.

Democratization and Research Methods

Author: Michael Coppedge
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521537278
Release Date: 2012-06-25
Genre: Political Science

Democratization and Research Methods summarizes what researchers know about why countries become and remain democracies, and why they often do not. It also evaluates the various methods social scientists use to answer such questions. Michael Coppedge draws lessons that can be applied to any political phenomenon that is studied comparatively.

Surviving Field Research

Author: Chandra Lekha Sriram
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134010196
Release Date: 2009-06-02
Genre: Education

In recent decades there has been increasing attention to mass atrocities such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other gross human rights violations. At the same time, there has been a vast increase in the number of academics and researchers seeking to analyze the causes of, and offer practical responses to, these atrocities. Yet there remains insufficient discussion of the practical and ethical challenges surrounding research into serious abuses and dealing with vulnerable populations. The aim of this edited volume is to guide researchers in identifying and addressing challenges in conducting qualitative research in difficult circumstances, such as conducting research in autocratic or uncooperative regimes, with governmental or non-governmental officials, and perhaps most importantly, with reluctant respondents such as victims of genocide or (on the other side of the coin) war criminals. The volume proceeds in five substantive sections, each addressing a different challenge of conducting field research in conflict-affected or repressive situations: Ethics Access Veracity Security Identity, objectivity, behaviour. This important text will be vital reading for students, scholars and researchers in the areas of research methods, international relations, anthropology and human rights. It will also be of keen interest to policy practioners and NGOs, and especially relevant for those working in the regions of Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Thinking Like a Political Scientist

Author: Christopher Howard
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226327686
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Genre: Political Science

Each year, tens of thousands of students who are interested in politics go through a rite of passage: they take a course in research methods. Many find the subject to be boring or confusing, and with good reason. Most of the standard books on research methods fail to highlight the most important concepts and questions. Instead, they brim with dry technical definitions and focus heavily on statistical analysis, slighting other valuable methods. This approach not only dulls potential enjoyment of the course, but prevents students from mastering the skills they need to engage more directly and meaningfully with a wide variety of research. With wit and practical wisdom, Christopher Howard draws on more than a decade of experience teaching research methods to transform a typically dreary subject and teach budding political scientists the critical skills they need to read published research more effectively and produce better research of their own. The first part of the book is devoted to asking three fundamental questions in political science: What happened? Why? Who cares? In the second section, Howard demonstrates how to answer these questions by choosing an appropriate research design, selecting cases, and working with numbers and written documents as evidence. Drawing on examples from American and comparative politics, international relations, and public policy, Thinking Like a Political Scientist highlights the most common challenges that political scientists routinely face, and each chapter concludes with exercises so that students can practice dealing with those challenges.

Finding Pathways

Author: Nicholas Weller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107041066
Release Date: 2014-07-03
Genre: Political Science

Introduces 'pathway analysis': a method to combine large and small-N research techniques and to aid understanding of causal mechanisms.

Social Science Methodology

Author: John Gerring
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139503778
Release Date: 2011-12-15
Genre: Political Science

John Gerring's exceptional textbook has been thoroughly revised in this second edition. It offers a one-volume introduction to social science methodology relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. This new edition has been extensively developed with the introduction of new material and a thorough treatment of essential elements such as conceptualization, measurement, causality and research design. It is written for students, long-time practitioners and methodologists and covers both qualitative and quantitative methods. It synthesizes the vast and diverse field of methodology in a way that is clear, concise and comprehensive. While offering a handy overview of the subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding work in the social sciences.

Multimethod Research Causal Mechanisms and Case Studies

Author: Gary Goertz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400888115
Release Date: 2017-08-15
Genre: Social Science

An innovative and accessible textbook on multimethod and case-study research Multimethod research has become indispensable to doing social science, and is essential to anyone who conducts large-scale research projects in political science, sociology, education, comparative law, or business. This authoritative and accessible book offers the first truly comprehensive approach to multimethod and case-study research, and is particularly aimed at students of qualitative methods in the social sciences. Walking step-by-step through these cutting-edge tools and techniques, Gary Goertz introduces a new integrated approach that unites three corners of a powerful research triad—causal mechanisms, cross-case causal inference, and within-case causal inference. He explains how the investigation of causal mechanisms and the making of within-case causal inference are the central goals of multimethod and case study research, and provides a logic for connecting case studies and causal mechanism analysis with cross-case analysis, whether they are statistical analyses, experiments, or QCA. In addition, Goertz analyzes how one can generalize using case studies, as well as systematically test game-theoretic and other models using multiple case studies. Provides a fully integrated approach to multimethod and case-study research An essential resource for students and researchers in political science, sociology, education, law, and business Covers constraint causal mechanism, game theory and case studies, QCA, and the use of case studies to systematically test and generalize theories An ideal textbook for a first-year graduate course in methods or research design

Cooking Data

Author: Crystal Biruk
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822371823
Release Date: 2018-03-30
Genre: Social Science

In Cooking Data Crystal Biruk offers an ethnographic account of research into the demographics of HIV and AIDS in Malawi to rethink the production of quantitative health data. While research practices are often understood within a clean/dirty binary, Biruk shows that data are never clean; rather, they are always “cooked” during their production and inevitably entangled with the lives of those who produce them. Examining how the relationships among fieldworkers, supervisors, respondents, and foreign demographers shape data, Biruk examines the ways in which units of information—such as survey questions and numbers written onto questionnaires by fieldworkers—acquire value as statistics that go on to shape national AIDS policy. Her approach illustrates how on-the-ground dynamics and research cultures mediate the production of global health statistics in ways that impact local economies and formulations of power and expertise.