Experimentation in Political Science

Rebecca B. Morton and Kenneth C. Williams

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

Experimentation in Political Science

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Politics
  • Political Methodology
  • Comparative Politics



This article mentions that the number of experiments has increased dramatically in political science in the last thirty-five years because of their power for making causal inferences. It directly confronts the Achilles heel of experiments — their external validity. It also argues that external validity can be achieved if a result can be replicated across a variety of data-sets and situations. The expanding area of experimental political science and some of the concerns involved in experimentation are investigated. It showed the wide variety of ways in which experimentation can be used to answer interesting research questions while speaking to theorists, empiricists, and policy-makers. It is expected that the application of experimentation techniques will continue to rise in political science, just as it has in other social sciences.

Keywords: experimentation; experimental political science; causal inferences; Achilles heel; external validity

Article.  7332 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »