Research Design in Political Science: How to Practice what they Preach

Paperback | August 15, 2011

EditorThomas Gschwend, Frank Schimmelfennig

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When embarking on a new research project students face the same core research design issues. This volume provides readers with practical guidelines for both qualitative and quantitative designs, discussing the typical trade-offs involved in choosing them and is rich in examples from real research.

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When embarking on a new research project students face the same core research design issues. This volume provides readers with practical guidelines for both qualitative and quantitative designs, discussing the typical trade-offs involved in choosing them and is rich in examples from real research.

THOMAS GSCHWEND is Professor of Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Germany. His work has been published, inter alia, in Political Analysis, British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies and the European Journal of Political Research. FRANK SCHIMMELFENNIG is Professor of European Pol...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.57 × 5.57 × 0.6 inPublished:August 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230301274

ISBN - 13:9780230301276

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Table of Contents

Designing Research in Political Science; T.Gschwend & F.Schimmelfennig
Increasing the Relevance of Research Questions; M.Lehnert, B.Miller & A.Wonka
Concept Specification in Political Science Research; A.Wonka
Typologies in Social Inquiry; M.Lehnert
Making Measures Capture Concepts; B.Miller
Achieving Comparability of Secondary Data; J.Rathke
Dealing Effectively with Selection Bias in Large-n Research; J.Thiem
Case Selection and Selection Bias in Small-n Research; D.Leuffen
Selecting Independent Variables; U.Sieberer
Discriminating among Rival Explanations: Some Tools for Small-n Researchers; A.Dür
Falsification in Theory-Guided Empirical Social Research; D.De Bièvre
Lessons for the Dialogue between Theory and Data; T.Gschwend & F.Schimmelfennig

Editorial Reviews

"The internal structure of each of the chapters nicely fits the hands-on approach taken in this book. Each chapter starts by introducing and discussing the specific research design issue addressed within it. Five to ten practical guidelines are then given as to how to translate the abstract reasoning into concrete research. Finally, examples of real research are used to illustrate the abstract discussion and to provide flesh to the guidelines. The second strong point is the distinction made between outcome-centric and factor-centric research, or in other words research that seeks to identify the causes of an outcome (or effect) and that research that is interested in the effect of a specific cause. While others have made this distinction before, this book elaborates on the consequences of this distinction for several elements of the research design such as the implications for the function of typologies (chapter by Lehnert) and the selection of independent variables (Sieberer)…the volume devotes a chapter to the very start of the research process – the identification of the research question. Here the emphasis is on increasing the relevance of the research question by discussing theoretical and societal relevance."-- Markus Haverland, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands in European Political Science, December 2010