Empirical Political Analysis introduces readers to the foundations of social science research. Organized around the stages of the research process, this textbook prepares readers to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research, from the formation of theory through the design of research projects, to the collection of data and the analysis of results. It offers a clear and concise presentation of basic concepts and tools that can be applied in a wide range of research settings and highlights ethical conduct in the research process. It will help you both to achieve sound results in your own research and to critically evaluate research presented by others.
- Offers comprehensive coverage of quantitative and qualitative research methods in political science – this book is one of the key texts in the field of political research methods since it was first published over 25 years ago.
- Covers the research process from start to finish—hypothesis formation, literature review, research design, data gathering, data analysis, and research report writing.
- Includes in-depth examples of political science research to give discipline-specific instruction on political analysis.
- Features a "Practical Research Ethics" box in every chapter to make students aware of common ethical dilemmas and potential solutions to them.
- Includes learning goals, key terms, and research examples to help students engage and explore the most important concepts.
New to this edition:
- Updated and international case studies.
- New material on understanding research design – what constitutes a sound research design and how this contributes to being able to justify research findings.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1. Research as a Process
Part II: Preparing to Do Research
Chapter 2. Building Theories and Hypotheses
Chapter 3. Developing Your Literature Review
Chapter 4. Designing Your Research and Choosing Your Methods
Chapter 5. From Abstract to Concrete: Operationalization and Measurement
Chapter 6. Research Design: Attributing Causation through Control
Chapter 7. Who, What, Where, When: The Problem of Sampling
Part III: Quantitative Methods
Chapter 8. Survey Research: Characterizing a Broader Population
Chapter 9. Creating Complex Indicators: Using Scaling Techniques
Chapter 10. Content Analysis: Researching Textual Material
Chapter 11. Aggregate Data: Studying Groups
Chapter 12. Comparative Methods: Research Across Populations
Part IV: Analyzing Quantitative Data
Chapter 13. Coding Data: Preparing Observations for Analysis
Chapter 14. Tables and Charts: Visually Describing the Data
Chapter 15. Statistics I: Summarizing Distributions on One Variable
Chapter 16. Statistics II: Examining Relationships between Two Variables
Chapter 17. Statistics III: Relationships among Several Variables
Part V: Qualitative Methods
Chapter 18. Direct Observation: Systematically Watching Behavior
Chapter 19. Focus Group Research
Chapter 20. Elite and Specialized Interviewing
Part VI: Conclusion
Chapter 21. The Research Report: Diagramming a Sample Article
Chapter 22. Summary: Overview of the Research Process
Appendix A Statistical Tables
Appendix B Ethical Standards in Empirical Research
Richard C. Rich, PhD, studies and teaches about environmental policy, public policy analysis, and research methods. He was Editor of the State University of New York Press Urban Public Policy book series that won the Aaron Wildavsky Award for Contributions to Policy Analysis. He was formerly Chair of the Department of Political Science, Director of the Center for Environmental and Energy Studies, and Director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech.
Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.