Doing Research in Political Science: An Introduction to Comparative Methods and Statistics

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This is an immensely helpful book for students starting their own research an excellent introduction to the comparative method giving an authoritative overview over the research process

"- Klaus Armingeon, University of Bern


Doing Research in Political Science is the book for mastering the comparative method in all the social sciences

"- Jan-Erik Lane, University of Geneva


This book has established itself as a concise and well-readable text on comparative methods and statistics in political science I strongly recommend it.

"- Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Philipps-University Marburg


This thoroughly revised edition of the popular textbook offers an accessible but comprehensive introduction to comparative research methods and statistics for students of political science. Clearly organized around three parts, the text introduces the main theories and methodologies used in the discipline.

Part 1 frames the comparative approach within the methodological framework of the political and social sciences.

Part 2 introduces basic descriptive and inferential statistical methods as well as more advanced multivariate methods used in quantitative political analysis.

Part 3 applies the methods and techniques of Parts 1 & 2 to research questions drawn from contemporary themes and issues in political science.

Incorporating practice exercises, ideas for further reading and summary questions throughout, Doing Research in Political Science provides an invaluable step-by-step guide for students and researchers in political science, comparative politics and empirical political analysis. "


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Theory and Method 18
Meaning and Use of the Comparative
Concepts Cases Data and Measurement 55
Explorative and Descriptive Statistics
variable and a nominal variable
Multivariate Analysis and Causal Inference
How Decisions are Made
How Problems are Solved

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About the author (2006)

Paul Pennings is Associate Professor of Political Science at the VU University Amsterdam. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of Comparative (European) Politics and Comparative Methods and Statistics. He has publised widely in peer-reviewed academic journals in political science, such as Acta Politica, Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research, European Union Politics, Party Politics, Political Studies and Sociological Methods and Research. His recent publications include Doing Research in Political Science. An Introduction to Comparative Methods and Statistics (with Hans Keman and Jan Kleinnijenhuis), London: Sage (2nd edition, 2006) and (with Christine Arnold) Is Constitutional Politics like Politics ‘At Home’? The Case of the EU Constitution, Political Studies 56 (4): 789-806, which was a finalist for the Harrison Prize for the best article published in Political Studies in 2008.

Hans Keman is Professor and Chair of Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam


Klaus Armingeon Institut fuer Politiekwissenschapft, Unitobler

Uwe Becker Universiteit van Amsterdam

Ian Budge University of Essex

Francis Castles The Australian National University, Canberra

Hans Daalder The Hague

Svante Errson Umea Universitet

Kees van Kersbergen Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen

Jan-Erik Lane Universite de Geneve

Peter Mair Universiteit van Leiden

Paul Pennings Vrije Universiteit

Manfred Schmidt

Current lines of research

News effects
Economic news and political news, patterns of agenda-building
Content Analysis, Semantic Network Analysis

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