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 47: Bayesian Methods in Political Science
Bayesian methods refer to a suite of statistical methods that consistently use Bayes’ formula to update researchers’ beliefs about statistical quantities of interest using observed data. The consistent use of Bayes’ formula requires two major inputs – a prior distribution and a generative model of (observed and unobserved) data – and an efficient estimation method that can find statistical quantities of a new probability density (called a posterior distribution) from the product of multiple probability densities.
The beauty of Bayesian methods lies in the fact that if researchers have a theory of a real-world process that can be represented by a generative statistical model, ...