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

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9780230301276: Research Design in Political Science: How to Practice what they Preach

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, discusses the typical trade-offs involved in choosing them and is rich in examples from actual research.

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About the Author:

DIRK DE BIVRE Lecturer in International Politics, Department of Political Science, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium ANDREAS DR Lecturer, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland MATTHIAS LEHNERT Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Germany DIRK LEUFFEN Post-doctoral Researcher, Centre for Comparative and International Studies, ETH Zurich, Switzerland BERNHARD MILLER Researcher, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), Mannheim, Germany JULIA RATHKE Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Germany ULRICH SIEBERER Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Germany JANINA THIEM Researcher, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), Mannheim, Germany ARNDT WONKA Researcher, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), Mannheim, Germany

Review:

'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

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