The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 8: EITM: Applications in Political Science and International Relations1
Empirical observation, in the absence of a theoretical base, is at best descriptive. It tells one what happened, but not why it has the pattern one perceives. Theoretical analysis, in the absence of empirical testing, has a framework more noteworthy for its logical or mathematical elegance than for its utility in generating insights into the real world. The first exercise has been described as ‘data dredging', the second as building ‘elegant models of irrelevant universes'. My purpose is to try to understand what I believe to be a problem of major importance. This understanding cannot be achieved merely by ...