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Research Methods in International Relations

Research Methods in International Relations

May 2015 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book guides you through the entirety of the research process in International Relations, from selecting a research question and reviewing the literature to field research and writing up. Covering both qualitative and quantitative methods in IR, it offers a balanced assessment of the key methodological debates and research methods within the discipline.


The book:

  • Is specifically focussed on research methods used in International Relations.
  • Spans the entire research process from choosing a research question to writing up.
  • Provides practical research methods guidance.
  • Introduces you to broader methodological debates and brings together contemporary research from empirical and interpretive traditions.
  • Is packed with examples and suggestions for further reading.


Research Methods in International Relations is essential reading for both undergraduate and postgraduate students taking Research Methods courses in International Relations, Politics, Security and Strategic Studies.

Chapter 1: Research Methods in International Relations
Chapter 2: Research Questions and Research Design
Chapter 3: Research Ethics
Chapter 4: Writing a Literature Review
Chapter 5: Qualitative Methods in International Relations
Chapter 6: Quantitative Methods in International Relations
Chapter 7: Mixed Methods in International Relations
Chapter 8: Case Study Research in International Relations
Chapter 9: Field Research in International Relations
Chapter 10: Writing Up Your Research

Comprehensive in its approach and filled with practical examples, Research Methods in International Relations is certain to prove a valuable resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate research methods classes. In particular, the author deserves great credit for the clarity of his explanations and the neutrality with which he addresses key methodological debates.

Assistant Professor James Brown,
Temple University, Japan Campus

A concise introduction to research methods in international relations, one that is particularly suitable for undergraduate students or beginner researchers... The accessible style allows the author to provide practical assistance to students dealing with common hurdles, such as writing good literature reviews and embarking on field research.

Daniela Lai, Royal Holloway, University of London
Political Studies Review

For years I have struggled to find a source that would be capable of explaining key methodological aspects for International Relations students but at the same time will not be complicated and boring. My previous experiences have led me to one problem - students will still be confused about methodology even having read those sources.

This book is a game changer. It proves that discussing such complex things as methodology of International Relations discipline could be fun and easy to comprehend. For the very first time my students are not afraid of using methodology in their works and are enthusiastic about it.

Dr David Erkomaishvili
Humanities, Metropolitan University Prague
March 15, 2017

A useful overview for students without much experience of research to learn what is involved and relevant examples.

Dr Marieke Riethof
Cultures, Languages & Area Studies, Liverpool University
July 29, 2016

Easy to use and understand, guides fresh researchers through all the stages of their work, refers to all three "schools of methods - qualitative, quantitative and mixed"

Dr Marcin Grabowski
Political Science and International Relations, Jagiellonian University
May 27, 2016

This is a very handy book for students and particularly researchers of International relations and politics. It gives a better picture of using methods in international relations

Mr Ikrom Yakubov
Department of Politics, Dundee University
March 3, 2016

Useful for the end papers that need to be written.

Ms Emilia Mantadakis
Department of Political Science, Maastricht University
December 10, 2015

Great introduction to key questions of research design in IR research

Professor Andreas Duer
Political Science Department, University of Salzburg
August 19, 2015

A concise and well-written book for students and researchers in various spheres of IR and Global Politics.

Dr Natalia Piskunova
International Relations, Institute of International Studies, Mgimo-Moscow
June 26, 2015

An excellent intro into the logic of IR research. Clear, accessible and comprehensive.

Dr Harry Bauer
Dept of Political Science, University College London
June 16, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Research Methods in International Relations: Chapter One

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