Research Methods in Politics

ISBN-10: 0230019854

ISBN-13: 9780230019850

Edition: 2nd 2008 (Revised)

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Description:

The second edition of this widely used text provides a comprehensive introduction to the main research methods employed in the study of politics and assessment of their strengths and limitations; of their interrelationship; and of ethical issues in research. Illustrated throughout with boxed examples of real political research, the book ranges widely from substantial coverage of statistical methods to the use of archives, interviews, discourse analysis and the internet. Two additional chapters in the second edition focus on the relationship between research and policy and the lessons for researchers from the study of elections in the US and UK.
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Book details

List price: $50.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 6/17/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.528

PETER BURNHAM is Professor in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, UK. KARIN GILLAND is a teacher and researcher at the Institute of Political Science, University of Berne, Switzerland. WYN GRANT is Professor of Politics, University of Warwick, UK. ZIG LAYTON-HENRY is Professor of Politics, University of Warwick, UK.

List of Figures, Tables and Boxes
Preface
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Methods, Methodology and Making Sense of the Study of Politics
Guiding themes
Structure of the book
The Discipline of Politics
The diverse traditions of political science
Dominant paradigms
Political studies or political science: some methodological considerations
Research Design and the Research Process
The meaning of research design
The research process
The research labyrinth
Types of research design
Conclusion
Comparative Methods
Comparative political science: substance and method
Designing comparative research
Why compare? The advantages
The limits of comparison
Cases: how many, and which?
Conclusion
Surveys, Polls and Focus Groups
Surveys, opinion polls and politics
History of opinion polls and surveys
Sampling procedures
Types of sample design
Administering surveys
Interviewing
Coding and analysis
Focus groups
Conclusion
Descriptive Statistics
Levels of measurement, central tendency and spread
Choosing descriptive statistics
Presenting descriptive statistics
All that glitters ...
Conclusion
Making Inferences
What is inference?
Inference - logic and problems
Inferences in political science
Conclusion
Documentary and Archival Analysis
Use and abuse of secondary and tertiary documentary sources in political science
The analysis of primary sources
Research in the Public Record Office (the UK's National Archives) and the National Archives, Washington
Conclusion: the value and limits of documentary and archival analysis
The Internet and Political Research
Searching the internet
Electronic resources for political research
Online polling
Elite interviewing online
Conclusions
Elite Interviewing
Decide who you want to see
Get access and arrange the interview
Conduct the interview
Analyse the results
Conclusions
Discourse Analysis and Other Methods
Discourse analysis
Content analysis
The advantages and limitations of content analysis
Participant observation
Conclusion
Ethics and Political Research
The nature of ethical problems
Two broad approaches to ethical problems
Five basic ethical principles
The relationship with sponsors
Gatekeepers
Citizens
The problem of fraud in research
Professional codes of conduct
Conclusions
Research and the Policy Process
The demand side: what policymakers want from researchers
The supply side: what researchers can provide
The mediating effect of national structures and cultures
Bridging the gap
How could the contribution of research to policymaking be improved?
Conclusion
Conclusion: Challenging the Mainstream and the Qualitative/Quantitative Divide
Feminist methods?
Anti-racist and Marxist challenges
Theory, methods and the qualitative/quantitative divide
Suggestions for Further Reading
References
Index
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