1st Edition

Concepts and Method in Social Science The Tradition of Giovanni Sartori

Edited By David Collier, John Gerring Copyright 2008
    380 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    380 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Careful work with concepts is a cornerstone of good social science methodology. Concepts and Method in Social Science demonstrates the crucial role of concepts, providing a timely contribution that draws both on the classic work of Giovanni Sartori and the writing of a younger generation of scholars.

    In this volume, major writings of Sartori are juxtaposed with other work that exemplifies important approaches to concept analysis. The book is organized into three key sections:

    • Part I : Sartori on Concepts and Methods – including an examination of the necessary logical steps in moving from conceptualization to measurement and the relationships among meanings, terms and observations.

    • Part II: Extending the Sartori Tradition – eminent scholars analyse five key ideas in concept analysis: revolution, culture, democracy, peasants and institutionalization within the context of the Sartori tradition.

    • Part III: In the Academy and Beyond – both an engaging autobiographical essay written by Giovanni Sartori and reflections from former students provide a unique context in which to situate this varied and rigorous discussion of concept analysis and qualitative methods.

    Concepts and Method in Social Science is an accessible text that is well suited to advanced undergraduates and graduate students, providing a distinct and coherent introduction to comparative political analysis.

    Introduction David Collier and John Gerring  Part I:  Sartori on Concepts and Methods  1. Concept Misinformation in Comparative Politics  2. What is Politics?  3. The Tower of Babel  4. Guidelines for Concept Analysis  5. Comparing and Miscomparing  6. Excerpts on Concepts, Definitions, and Models: Democracy:"What Is" vs. "How Much", Politics as Collectivized Decisions, From Classification to Measurement Model Mania Part II: Extending the Sartori Tradition  7. The Intension and Extension of Concepts Gary Goertz  8. Revolution Cristoph Kotowski  9. A Min-Max Strategy for Concept Formation John Gerring and Paul Barresi  10. Democracy with Adjectives David Collier and Steven Levitsky  11. Understanding peasant Revolution Marcus Kurtz 1 2. Institutionalization and Peronism Steven Levitsky  Part III: In the Academy and Beyond  13. Chance, Luck and Stubbornness: An Autobiographical Essay Giovanni Sartori  14. Teacher and Mentor Cindy Skach, Edward Walker, Hector Schamis Edward Gibson and Christoph Kotowski  15. Biography and Bibliography Oreste Massari


    David Collier is Robson Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

    John Gerring is Associate Professor of Political Science, Boston University, USA.

    'Combining the best of Continental European historical perspective and Anglo-American analytical focus, this is the most challenging inquiry into the rigorous understanding of concepts to be published in recent years.'
    Mauro Calise, University of Naples and Theodore J. Lowi, Cornell University, authors of Hyperpolitics: An Interactive Dictionary of Political Science

    'While much social scientific ink has been spilled over questions of causal inference, such analysis is irrelevant if we do not know what it is we are studying or measuring. Sartori's scholarship is centrally concerned with these challenges, and they are squarely addressed in this book. The volume must be seen in the context of the phenomenally successful resurgence of training in qualitative and multi-method research – and it will be critical for graduate students and scholars not simply in qualitative methods, but also in research design and comparative analysis more generally.'
    Evan Lieberman, Princeton University

    'This is an all-star cast, and the scholarship is outstanding. Sartori is a pioneer in methodology; Collier and Gerring are central figures in the recent renaissance of qualitative methods and have wide experience in presenting technical material to students; and the authors of other chapters are well known for their high-quality scholarship. The book can profitably be read and digested by advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and established scholars.'
    David Waldner, University of Virginia

    'Giovanni Sartori calls for researchers to be ‘conscious thinkers’ who engage deeply with issues of method, yet are not paralyzed by preoccupation with particular techniques. This volume exemplifies Sartori’s approach by bringing together his major essays on concepts and method, along with chapters that show how his framework informs some of the best contemporary social science, and correspondingly yields valuable insights into a series of important substantive topics. Scholars at any stage of their careers should take seriously the insights of this volume.'
    Melani Cammett, Brown University

    'Collier and Gerring have done a great service to the profession by republishing some of Sartori’s seminal contributions on concept analysis (and beyond), together with essays of younger scholars who brilliantly continue his tradition in comparative politics. A timely and important contribution to the debate to social science methodology, this book will be compulsory reading – or re-reading – for comparativists.'
    Giovanni Capoccia, Professor of Comparative Politics, Oxford