內容簡介 There are a plethora of books that aim to teach the research methods needed for political science. ?Thinking Like a Political Scientist� stands out from them in its conviction that students are better served by learning a handful of core lessons well rather than trying to memorize hundreds of often statistical definitions. Short and concise, the book has two main parts, ?Asking Good Questions� and ?Generating Good Answers.� In the first section, one chapter each is devoted to the three fundamental questions in political science: who cares?, what happened?, and why?. These take up, among many other topics, crafting a literature review, creating hypotheses, measuring concepts, and the difference between correlation and causation. The second section of the book has chapters about choosing a research design, choosing cases, working with written documents, and working with numbers. All of these are essential skills for undergraduates to have when reading published work and conducting their own research. Every chapter ends with several exercises where students can read examples from published work and develop their own skills as researchers. Finally, unlike most research methods books, Christopher Howard�s sprinkles humor and surprising analogies throughout. Each year, tens of thousands of students who are interested in politics go through a rite of passage: they take a course in research methods. Many find the subject to be boring or confusing, and with good reason. Most of the standard books on research methods fail to highlight the most important concepts and questions. Instead, they brim with dry technical definitions and focus heavily on statistical analysis, slighting other valuable methods. This approach not only dulls potential enjoyment of the course, but prevents students from mastering the skills they need to engage more directly and meaningfully with a wide variety of research. With wit and practical wisdom, Christopher Howard draws on more than a decade of experience teaching research methods to transform a typically dreary subject and teach budding political scientists the critical skills they need to read published research more effectively and produce better research of their own. The first part of the book is devoted to asking three fundamental questions in political science: What happened? Why? Who cares? In the second section, Howard demonstrates how to answer these questions by choosing an appropriate research design, selecting cases, and working with numbers and written documents as evidence. Drawing on examples from American and comparative politics, international relations, and public policy, Thinking Like a Political Scientist highlights the most common challenges that political scientists routinely face, and each chapter concludes with exercises so that students can practice dealing with those challenges.
作者介紹 Christopher Howard is the Pamela C. Harriman Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of two books, The Welfare State Nobody Knows and The Hidden Welfare State, and the coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy.