Political Science Methodology

Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Henry E. Brady and David Collier

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199286546
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Political Science Methodology

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  • Politics
  • Political Methodology
  • Comparative Politics



Political methodology offers techniques for clarifying the theoretical meaning of concepts such as revolution and for developing definitions of revolutions. It also provides descriptive indicators for comparing the scope of revolutionary change, and sample surveys for gauging the support for revolutions. It then presents an array of methods for making causal inferences that provide insights into the causes and consequences of revolutions. An overview of the book is given. Topics addressed include social theory and approaches to social science methodology; concepts and development measurement; causality and explanation in social research; experiments, quasi-experiments, and natural experiments; general methods of quantitative tools for causal and descriptive inference; quantitative tools for causal and descriptive inference; qualitative tools for causal inference; and organizations, institutions, and movements in the field of methodology. In general, the Handbook provides overviews of specific methodologies, but it also emphasizes three things: utility for understanding politics, pluralism of approaches, and cutting across boundaries. This volume discusses interpretive and constructivist methods, along with broader issues of situating alternative analytic tools in relation to an understanding of culture.

Keywords: political science; political methodology; causal inference; descriptive inference; social theory; revolution

Article.  13051 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

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