A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.
Donatella della Porta is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, Florence, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Florence. Michael Keating is Professor of Political and Social Sciences in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, Florence, and Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen.
Preface; 1. Introduction Donatella della Porta and Michael Keating; Part I. Epistemology and Philosophy of the Social Sciences: 2. How many approaches in the social sciences? An epistemological introduction Donatella della Porta and Michael Keating; 3. Normative political theory and empirical research Rainer Bauboeck; 4. Causal explanation Adrienne Heritier; 5. Constructivism: what it is (not) and how it matters Friedrich Kratochwil; 6. Culture and social science Michael Keating; 7. Historical institutionalism Sven Steinmo; 8. Game theory Christine Chwaszcza; 9. Rationality and recognition Alessandro Pizzorno; Part II. Research Design: 10. Concepts and concept formation Peter Mair; 11. Comparative analysis: case-oriented versus variable-oriented research Donatella della Porta; 12. Case studies and process tracing: theories and practices Pascal Vennesson; 13. Quantitative analysis Mark Franklin; 14. The design of social and political research Philippe Schmitter; 15. Ethnographic approaches Zoe Bray; 16. Comparing approaches, methodologies and methods. Some concluding remarks Donatella della Porta and Michael Keating; References; Glossary; Index.