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Political Research

Methods and Practical Skills

Second Edition

Sandra Halperin and Oliver Heath

December 2016

ISBN: 9780198702740

488 pages
Paperback
246x189mm

In Stock

Price: £33.99

The most accessible guide to research methods written especially for politics and international relations students.

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Description

Political Research: Methods and Practical Skills is the most comprehensive research methods for politics textbook available. Written especially for politics students, its practical and relevant step-by-step approach to the subject equips students with the essential skills they need to successfully conduct independent study and research.

  • Guides students through the theory underpinning political research, the key approaches to this research, and the essential stages of the actual research process.
  • Discusses step-by-step how to conduct research and provides practical examples to show just how such research addresses and impacts real world problems.
  • Helps students to engage with critical thinking and analysis, encouraging them to ask questions and formulate their own opinions about the world of politics and international relations today.
  • Includes a range of features to maximise learning, including chapter summaries, end-of-chapter conclusions and questions, and a guide to further reading, created to re-enforce students' understanding of research methods and further explore specific approaches to research.

New to this edition

  • A new chapter on data helps students to understand the key principles of data and measurement
  • A new chapter on historical research methods clearly explains this important area of political research
  • More examples bring to life the methods and practices involved in conducting research to illustrate how research addresses real world problems and impacts upon policy
  • An increased focus on ethical issues encourages students to explore this important aspect of the research process.

About the Author(s)

Sandra Halperin, Professor of International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London, and Oliver Heath, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Royal Holloway, University of London

Table of Contents

    1: Political Research
    PART I:PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE: KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWING I N SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
    2: Laws, Explanation, and Interpretation
    3: Objectivity and Values
    PART II: HOW TO DO RESEARCH: AN OVERVIEW
    4: Asking Questions: research questions and how to find and formulate them
    5: Finding Answers: theories and how to apply them
    6: Research Design
    7: What is Data?
    PART III: HOW TO DO RESEARCH IN PRACTICE
    8: Experimental Research
    9: Comparative Research
    10: Historical research
    11: Surveys
    12: Interviewing and Focus Groups
    13: Ethnography and Participant Observation
    14: Textual Analysis
    15: Quantitative Analysis: Description and Inferenc
    16: Patterns of Association: Bivariate Analysis
    17: A Guide to Multivariate Analysisc

Reviews

Review from previous edition The writing style and tone is exactly right... No other book on the market is comparable in terms of clarity and authority, detail and register - over even the commonest research techniques. - Dr Helen Brocklehurst, University of Derby

The biggest advantage of the book is the quality of its writing style. It actually demystifies the research process for students right from the start. The authors just really 'get it' when it comes to knowing how students are coming at this. - Dr Matthew Ryan, University of Southampton

Overall, this is a fantastic book, and it is refreshing to have a politics-specific book writing in a clear manner, especially without taking sides in the quantitative versus qualitative debate. - Dr Helen Williams, University of Nottingham

Additional Resources

An Online Resource Centre accompanies this text, which includes a range of resources for both students and lecturers.

For students:
- Take your learning further with relevant web links to reliable online content related to each chapter.

For registered lecturers:
- Access additional case studies, complete with accompanying questions, for use in class or to assign as additional reading
- Reinforce key themes from each chapter with suggested seminar questions and activities