Field Research in Political Science

Practices and Principles

Author: Diana Kapiszewski,Lauren M. MacLean,Benjamin L. Read

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316194183

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 4054

Field research - leaving one's home institution in order to acquire data, information or insights that significantly inform one's research - remains indispensable, even in a digitally networked era. This book, the first of its kind in political science, reconsiders the design and execution of field research and explores its role in producing knowledge. First, it offers an empirical overview of fieldwork in the discipline based on a large-scale survey and extensive interviews. Good fieldwork takes diverse forms yet follows a set of common practices and principles. Second, the book demonstrates the analytic benefits of fieldwork, showing how it contributes to our understanding of politics. Finally, it provides intellectual and practical guidance, with chapters on preparing for field research, operating in the field and making analytic progress while collecting data, and on data collection techniques including archival research, interviewing, ethnography and participant observation, surveys, and field experiments.
Posted in Political Science

Interview Research in Political Science

Author: Layna Mosley

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801467969

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 9511

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
Posted in Social Science

A Tale of Two Cultures

Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences

Author: Gary Goertz,James Mahoney

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691149712

Category: Political Science

Page: 238

View: 1366

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.
Posted in Political Science

Political Ethnography

What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power

Author: Edward Schatz

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226736785

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 593

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.
Posted in Social Science

Process-Tracing Methods

Foundations and Guidelines

Author: Derek Beach,Rasmus Brun Pedersen

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 047205189X

Category: Social Science

Page: 199

View: 9621

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

Process Tracing

Author: Andrew Bennett,Jeffrey T. Checkel

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107044529

Category: Political Science

Page: 344

View: 2927

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

Surviving Field Research

Working in Violent and Difficult Situations

Author: Chandra Lekha Sriram,John C. King,Julie A. Mertus,Olga Martin-Ortega,Johanna Herman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134010192

Category: Education

Page: 280

View: 6483

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.
Posted in Education

Informal Institutions and Citizenship in Rural Africa

Risk and Reciprocity in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire

Author: Lauren M. MacLean

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139488139

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 9818

This book challenges previous assumptions about institutions, social capital, and the nature of the African state by investigating the history of political and economic change in villages on either side of the Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire border. Prior to European colonial rule, these Akan villages had very similar political and cultural institutions. By the late 1990s, however, Lauren M. MacLean found puzzling differences in the informal institutions of reciprocity and indigenous notions of citizenship. MacLean argues that divergent histories of state formation not only shape how villagers help each other but also influence how local groups and communities define citizenship and then choose to engage with the state on an everyday basis. She examines the historical construction of the state role in mediating risk at the local level across three policy areas: political administration, social service delivery, and agriculture.
Posted in Political Science

Advances in Comparative-Historical Analysis

Author: James Mahoney,Kathleen Thelen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107110025

Category: Political Science

Page: 322

View: 4309

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

Multimethod Research, Causal Mechanisms, and Case Studies

An Integrated Approach

Author: Gary Goertz

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888115

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 3106

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
Posted in Social Science

Cooking Data

Culture and Politics in an African Research World

Author: Crystal Biruk

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822371820

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 2920

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.
Posted in Social Science

Finding Pathways

Mixed-Method Research for Studying Causal Mechanisms

Author: Nicholas Weller,Jeb Barnes

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107041066

Category: Political Science

Page: 171

View: 8772

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

Thinking Like a Political Scientist

A Practical Guide to Research Methods

Author: Christopher Howard

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022632768X

Category: Political Science

Page: 248

View: 6958

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.
Posted in Political Science

Interviewing in Social Science Research

A Relational Approach

Author: Lee Ann Fujii

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135015384

Category: Political Science

Page: 114

View: 7688

What is interviewing and when is this method useful? What does it mean to select rather than sample interviewees? Once the researcher has found people to interview, how does she build a working relationship with her interviewees? What should the dynamics of talking and listening in interviews be? How do researchers begin to analyze the narrative data generated through interviews? Lee Ann Fujii explores the answers to these inquiries in Interviewing in Social Science Research, the latest entry in the Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods. This short, highly readable book explores an interpretive approach to interviewing for purposes of social science research. Using an interpretive methodology, the book examines interviewing as a relational enterprise. As a relational undertaking, interviewing is more akin to a two-way dialogue than a one-way interrogation. Fujii examines the methodological foundations for a relational approach to interviewing, while at the same time covering many of the practical nuts and bolts of relational interviewing. Examples come from the author’s experiences conducting interviews in Bosnia, Rwanda, and the United States, and from relevant literatures across a variety of social scientific disciplines. Appendices to the book contain specific tips and suggestions for relational interviewing in addition to interview excerpts that give readers a sense of how relational interviews unfold. This book will be of great value to graduate students and researchers from across the social sciences who are considering or planning to use interviews in their research, and can be easily used by academics for teaching courses or workshops in social science methods.
Posted in Political Science

A Model Discipline

Political Science and the Logic of Representations

Author: Kevin A. Clarke,David M. Primo

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019538220X

Category: Political Science

Page: 220

View: 2398

Political science is an intensely quantitative discipline, and models are central. Political scientists use models—formal and informal, statistical and qualitative—to investigate and illuminate causal mechanisms, generate comparative data, and understand the conditions under which certain outcomes are expected to occur. But how do we justify and rationalize the method? Why test predictions from a deductive, and thus truth-preserving, system? David Primo and Kevin Clarke tackle these central questions in this novel work of methodology.
Posted in Political Science

High Courts and Economic Governance in Argentina and Brazil

Author: Diana Kapiszewski

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110700828X

Category: Law

Page: 289

View: 8582

This study analyzes how elected leaders and high courts in Argentina and Brazil interact over economic governance.
Posted in Law

Designing Social Inquiry

Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research

Author: Gary King,Robert O. Keohane,Sidney Verba

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400821211

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 748

While heated arguments between practitioners of qualitative and quantitative research have begun to test the very integrity of the social sciences, Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba have produced a farsighted and timely book that promises to sharpen and strengthen a wide range of research performed in this field. These leading scholars, each representing diverse academic traditions, have developed a unified approach to valid descriptive and causal inference in qualitative research, where numerical measurement is either impossible or undesirable. Their book demonstrates that the same logic of inference underlies both good quantitative and good qualitative research designs, and their approach applies equally to each. Providing precepts intended to stimulate and discipline thought, the authors explore issues related to framing research questions, measuring the accuracy of data and uncertainty of empirical inferences, discovering causal effects, and generally improving qualitative research. Among the specific topics they address are interpretation and inference, comparative case studies, constructing causal theories, dependent and explanatory variables, the limits of random selection, selection bias, and errors in measurement. Mathematical notation is occasionally used to clarify concepts, but no prior knowledge of mathematics or statistics is assumed. The unified logic of inference that this book explicates will be enormously useful to qualitative researchers of all traditions and substantive fields.
Posted in Social Science

Scientific Research in Education

Author: National Research Council,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Center for Education,Committee on Scientific Principles for Education Research

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 9780309133098

Category: Education

Page: 204

View: 4752

Researchers, historians, and philosophers of science have debated the nature of scientific research in education for more than 100 years. Recent enthusiasm for "evidence-based" policy and practice in educationâ€"now codified in the federal law that authorizes the bulk of elementary and secondary education programsâ€"have brought a new sense of urgency to understanding the ways in which the basic tenets of science manifest in the study of teaching, learning, and schooling. Scientific Research in Education describes the similarities and differences between scientific inquiry in education and scientific inquiry in other fields and disciplines and provides a number of examples to illustrate these ideas. Its main argument is that all scientific endeavors share a common set of principles, and that each fieldâ€"including education researchâ€"develops a specialization that accounts for the particulars of what is being studied. The book also provides suggestions for how the federal government can best support high-quality scientific research in education.
Posted in Education

Social Science Research

Principles, Methods, and Practices

Author: Anol Bhattacherjee

Publisher: CreateSpace

ISBN: 9781475146127

Category: Science

Page: 156

View: 1634

This book is designed to introduce doctoral and graduate students to the process of conducting scientific research in the social sciences, business, education, public health, and related disciplines. It is a one-stop, comprehensive, and compact source for foundational concepts in behavioral research, and can serve as a stand-alone text or as a supplement to research readings in any doctoral seminar or research methods class. This book is currently used as a research text at universities on six continents and will shortly be available in nine different languages.
Posted in Science