Download Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science by Stephen Van Evera PDF

By Stephen Van Evera

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Stephen Van Evera greeted new graduate scholars at MIT with a common-sense creation to qualitative equipment within the social sciences. His beneficial tricks, continually warmly acquired, grew from a handful of memos to an underground vintage primer. That primer advanced right into a e-book of how-to information regarding graduate examine, that is crucial analyzing for graduate scholars and undergraduates in political technology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and heritage - and for his or her advisers.

-How may still we body, examine, and practice theories within the social sciences? "I am unpersuaded through the view that the top principles of medical process should still range among difficult technology and social technology. technological know-how is science."

-A part on case reviews indicates rookies the ropes.

-Van Evera contends the world of dissertations is usually outlined too narrowly “Making and checking out theories will not be the single video games on the town. . . . If every body makes and checks theories yet nobody ever makes use of them, then what are they for?"

-In "Helpful tricks on Writing a Political technology Ph.D. Dissertation," Van Evera specializes in presentation, and on broader problems with educational approach and tactics.

-Van Evera asks how political scientists may still interact as a group. “All associations and professions that face vulnerable responsibility desire internal moral rudders that outline their responsibilities in an effort to remain on course."

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University Press of America, 1988); Edward R. : Prentice-Hall, 1974); D. G. Rees, Essential Statistics; George W. Snedecor and William G. , Statistics, 2d ed. (New York: Norton, 1991). 33. Landmark writings on the case-study method are listed in note 1 to Chapter 2. 30 Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science Most theories of war are best tested by case-study methods because the international historical record of prewar politics and diplomacy, which serves as our data, usually lends itself better to deep study of a few cases than to exploration of many cases.

This can expose instances where the refuting investigator held the theory to a standard that their own explanation could not meet. This suggests in turn that the standard was too high, in other words, that the refuter misconstrued noise in the data as decisive falsifying evidence against the theory. However, finding merit in this exercise is a far cry from agreeing that theories cannot be falsified except by the greater success of competing theories. Surely w e can know what is wrong before knowing what is right.

Some hard sciences (chemistry, biology, physics) rely largely on experiments. Others (astronomy, geology, paleontology) rely largely on observation. In political science experiments are seldom feasible, with rare exceptions such as conflict simulations or psychology experiments. This leaves observation as our prime method of testing. : 1. Large-n, or "statistical," analysis. 32 A large number of cases— usually several dozen or more—is assembled and explored to see if variables covary as the theory predicts.

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