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 24: Spatial Data
Political scientists analyze spatial data. We may think of our units of analysis primarily as block groups, zip codes, states, countries or dyads, but all of these data are also spatial data. Indeed, all political science data are spatial data (Darmofal, 2015) since all political behaviors, processes and events take place at spatial locations. But because we think of our units primarily in non-spatial terms, we often miss the implications that decades of geographic research provides for our analyses.
Spatial data present both opportunities and challenges for political scientists. Areal units such as those above are often geocoded so that we know the precise spatial locations of their boundaries and their centroids. ...