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Political Science Research Methods
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Political Science Research Methods

Ninth Edition
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July 2019 | 400 pages | CQ Press
“This is a solid text that walks students through the entire process of empirical, quantitative research methods in political science without being too math-heavy.  Students will be able to read this book and come away with an increased understanding of how we use research methods in political science.”
—Amanda M. Rosen, Webster University  

Understand the “how” and the “why” behind research in political science.  

Political Science Research Methods helps students to understand the logic behind research design by guiding them through a step-by-step process that explains when and why a researcher would pursue different kinds of methods. The highly anticipated Ninth Edition of this trusted resource provides more international examples, an increased focus on the role ethics play in the research process, increased attention to qualitative research methods, and expanded coverage on the role of the internet in research and analysis.  

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Bundle with the accompanying workbook for only $15 more!
Working with Political Science Research Methods, Fifth Edition offers students multiple opportunities to practice each of the methods presented in the core text. This helpful supplement breaks each aspect of the research process into manageable parts and features new exercises and updated data sets. A solutions manual with answers to the workbook is available to adopters.  

Your students save when you order the workbook bundled with the text.
Use bundle ISBN 978-1-5443-3157-7.

 
Tables, Figures, and Features
 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1 • Introduction
Research on Income Inequality

 
Politics and the Gender Gap

 
The Case of Italian (Non) Tax Compliance

 
Protests and Repression in New Democracies

 
The Observer Effect in International Politics: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
 
Chapter 2 • The Empirical Approach to Political Science
Elements of Empiricism

 
The Importance of Theory

 
A Brief Overview of the Empirical Research Process

 
Reactions to the Empirical Approach: Practical Objections

 
Competing Points of View

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 3 • Beginning the Research Process: Identifying a Research Topic, Developing Research Questions, and Reviewing the Literature
Specifying the Research Question

 
Sources of Ideas for Research Topics

 
Why Conduct a Literature Review?

 
Collecting Sources for a Literature Review

 
Writing a Literature Review

 
Anatomy of a Literature Review

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 4 • The Building Blocks of Social Scientific Research: Hypotheses, Concepts, Variables, and Measurement
Proposing Explanations

 
Formulating Hypotheses

 
Defining Concepts

 
Devising Measurement Strategies

 
The Accuracy of Measurements

 
The Precision of Measurements

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 5 • Sampling
The Basics of Sampling

 
How Do We Use a Sample to Learn About a Population?

 
Sampling Methods

 
Types of Samples

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 6 • Research Design: Establishing Causation
Verifying Causal Assertions

 
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods and Analysis: Causes-of-Effects and Effects-of-Causes Approaches

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 7 • Qualitative Research: Case Study Designs
Case Study Methods

 
Case Study Types

 
Using Cases to Explore Causal Mechanisms: Process Tracing

 
Generalizing from Cases Studies

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 8 • Making Empirical Observations: Qualitative Analysis
Types of Data and Collection Techniques

 
Data Collection in Qualitative Research

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 9 • Quantitative Research Designs
Randomized Experimental Designs

 
Natural Experiments

 
Nonrandomized Designs: Quasi-Experiments

 
Observational Studies

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 10 • Quantitative Methods
The Wide Variety of Quantitative Projects

 
Sources of Data for Quantitative Studies

 
Data Management

 
Ethical Concerns with Quantitative Methods

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 11 • Making Sense of Data: First Steps
The Data Matrix

 
Descriptive Statistics

 
Graphs for Presentation and Exploration

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 12 • Testing Relationships
The Normal Distribution and z Scores

 
Confidence Intervals

 
Hypothesis Testing

 
Testing a Relationship with Two Samples

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 13 • Analyzing Relationships for Categorical Data
The Basics of Identifying and Measuring Relationships

 
Table Summaries of Categorical Variable Associations

 
Measuring Strength of Relationships in Tables

 
Measures of Association: Statistics for Reporting the Strength of Relationships in Tables

 
Chi Square Test for Independence

 
Multivariate Analysis of Categorical Data

 
Analysis of Variance: Analyzing the Difference between Means for More Than Two Means

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 14 • Regression
Logic of Regression

 
Minimizing the Sum of the Squared Error

 
The Linear Regression Model

 
Maximum Likelihood Models for Dichotomous Dependent Variables

 
Conclusion

 
Terms Introduced

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 15 • The Research Report: An Annotated Example
Annotated Research Report Example

 
 
Appendixes
Appendix A: Normal Curve Tail Probabilities

 
Appendix B: Critical Values from t Distribution

 
Appendix C: Chi-Squared Distribution Values for Various Right-Tail Probabilities

 
Appendix D: F Distribution

 
 
Glossary
 
Index

Supplements

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“I like the focus on empiricism and the attempt to illustrate numerous research puzzles throughout.”

Anna Brigevich
North Carolina Central University

“A great overview of research methods written by and for political scientists.”

Ewa Golebiowska
Wayne State University

“This textbook is an informative and broad first foray into political science research methods that is appropriate for any early undergraduate student.”

Ronald J. McGauvran
University of North Texas

 “This is a solid text that walks students through the entire process of empirical quantitative research methods in political science without being too math-heavy. Students will be able to read this book and come away with an increased understanding of how we use research methods in political science.”

Amanda M. Rosen
Webster University
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • A significant reduction in length enables students to focus on the major points of each discussion.
  • Two new chapters (Ch. 7 and Ch. 8) are dedicated to qualitative research to give students a stronger foundation in qualitative research design and data collection methods. 
  • An emphasis on the logic of demonstrating causality helps students to better evaluate causal claims.
  • Formulas have been revised so that they use consistent terms with the discussion of correlation, t-tests, and confidence intervals in other chapters for clarity.
  • Regression is covered in a single chapter (Ch. 14) to make the topic easier for students to understand why one would use regression as well as how one would calculate and interpret it.
  • A new chapter on categorical data (Ch. 13) enables students to analyze relationships involving categorical data, both bivariate and multivariate.
  • Additional international relations and comparative politics examples improves the balance of examples across political science subfields.  

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  • Learning objectives provide measurable takeaways of key chapter content.
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  • SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning.

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