From the award-winning team behind the International Encyclopaedia of Political Science... Moving beyond mainstream “traditional” approaches to bring you a new advanced-level introduction to political science. A perfect introduction for postgraduates who are new to political science, as well as upper-level undergraduates looking to broaden and deepen their understanding of core topics, this progressive account: • Guides you through all key areas of political science: origins, methodological foundations, key topics, and current issues • Takes an international and pluralist perspective with all issues explored in a comparative way related to different cultural and historical contexts • Includes pulled-out descriptions of major concepts, further reading and self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter.

Research designs and methods

Research designs and methods

Key terms

  • Case studies
  • Deduction
  • Experiments (natural, field ...)
  • Idiographic
  • Induction
  • Necessary conditions
  • Nomothetic
  • Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
  • Regressions
  • Reliability
  • Sufficient conditions
  • Survey research
  • Validity (internal, external)

Introduction: Basic distinctions

With regard to this epistemological and methodological background, a large variety of specific social science methods and techniques have been developed. These continue to be further refined and supplemented. In this chapter, only a broad overview can be presented. More details must be left to the respective literature and textbooks (e.g. Babbie and Mouton, 2001; Pennings et al., 2003; Marsh and Stoker, 2010). We begin by outlining some basic distinctions in the epistemological debates and then turn to specific research designs and some of the most commonly applied methods. Their specific features and emphases are summarized at the end.

First of all, idiographic ...

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