Research Methods in Politics / Edition 1

Research Methods in Politics / Edition 1

by Peter Burnham, Karin Gilland, Wyn Grant, Zig Layton-Henry
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0230019846

ISBN-13: 9780230019843

Pub. Date: 07/22/2008

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

The 2nd edition of this major text provides a comprehensive introduction to the main research methods employed in the study of politics, an assessment of their strengths and limitations, and an account of their relationship to the evolution of the discipline of political science. The text has been extensively revised to take account of recent developments in the

Overview

The 2nd edition of this major text provides a comprehensive introduction to the main research methods employed in the study of politics, an assessment of their strengths and limitations, and an account of their relationship to the evolution of the discipline of political science. The text has been extensively revised to take account of recent developments in the literature and includes a new chapter on research and the policy process.

Research Methods in Politics emphasizes the value of a multi-method approach to political science and the complementary nature of quantitative and qualitative methods. It ranges widely in its coverage from elite interviewing to the use of archives and survey research, to participant observation and discourse analysis. These are clearly set in the context of the evolution of political science as a discipline and of key issues in research design and of comparative methodology. There is a substantial introduction to statistical methods and detailed consideration of the way the internet is changing research, as well as of the core ethical issues that arise in research. The book concludes with a consideration of the way in which traditions and approaches can be combined.

About the Author:
Peter Burnham is Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick

About the Author:
Karin Gilland Lutz holds a PhD in political science from Trinity College, Dublin

About the Author:
Wyn Grant is Professor of Politics, University of Warwick

About the Author:
Zig Layton-Henry is Professor Emeritus in Politics, University of Warwick

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230019843
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
07/22/2008
Series:
Political Analysis Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.09(d)

Table of Contents


List of Figures, Tables and Boxes     viii
Preface     xi
List of Abbreviations     xii
Introduction: Methods, Methodology and Making Sense of the Study of Politics     1
Guiding themes     2
Structure of the book     5
The Discipline of Politics     9
The diverse traditions of political science     9
Dominant paradigms     19
Political studies or political science: some methodological considerations     30
Research Design and the Research Process     38
The meaning of research design     39
The research process     45
The research labyrinth     53
Types of research design     55
Conclusion     68
Comparative Methods     69
Comparative political science: substance and method     70
Designing comparative research     73
Why compare? The advantages     80
The limits of comparison     83
Cases: how many, and which?     87
Conclusion     94
Surveys, Polls and Focus Groups     96
Surveys, opinion polls and politics     97
History of opinion polls and surveys     99
Samplingprocedures     102
Types of sample design     103
Administering surveys     108
Interviewing     123
Coding and analysis     125
Focus groups     128
Conclusion     136
Descriptive Statistics     138
Levels of measurement, central tendency and spread     140
Choosing descriptive statistics     151
Presenting descriptive statistics     153
All that glitters ...     166
Conclusion     169
Making Inferences     171
What is inference?     172
Inference - logic and problems     177
Inferences in political science     179
Conclusion     186
Documentary and Archival Analysis     187
Use and abuse of secondary and tertiary documentary sources in political science     190
The analysis of primary sources     195
Research in the Public Record Office (the UK's National Archives) and the National Archives, Washington     200
Conclusion: the value and limits of documentary and archival analysis     208
The Internet and Political Research     213
Searching the internet     216
Electronic resources for political research      218
Online polling     224
Elite interviewing online     228
Conclusions     230
Elite Interviewing     231
Decide who you want to see     233
Get access and arrange the interview     235
Conduct the interview     238
Analyse the results     245
Conclusions     246
Discourse Analysis and Other Methods     248
Discourse analysis     249
Content analysis     259
The advantages and limitations of content analysis     264
Participant observation     264
Conclusion     281
Ethics and Political Research     282
The nature of ethical problems     283
Two broad approaches to ethical problems     284
Five basic ethical principles     286
The relationship with sponsors     288
Gatekeepers     292
Citizens     295
The problem of fraud in research     296
Professional codes of conduct     298
Conclusions     303
Research and the Policy Process     305
The demand side: what policymakers want from researchers     305
The supply side: what researchers can provide     310
The mediating effect of national structures and cultures     313
Bridging the gap     318
How could the contribution of research to policymaking be improved?     322
Conclusion     324
Conclusion: Challenging the Mainstream and the Qualitative/Quantitative Divide     325
Feminist methods?     325
Anti-racist and Marxist challenges     330
Theory, methods and the qualitative/quantitative divide     331
Suggestions for Further Reading     335
References     340
Index     361

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