The authors of The Political Science Toolbox understand the dilemmas facing political science majors and the dilemmas facing political science instructors. Students yearn for a trusted guide to help them cope with the political science experience-a single reference work that contains the basic tools that an American government major needs to succeed. And instructors desire to help students ask meaningful political science questions, but are concerned about sacrificing valuable class time to 're-teach' basic research concepts. In other words, instructors desire a work that contains the basic tools that they hope their students bring to each class, but that experience tells them their students are unlikely to possess. The Political Science Toolbox is a reliable companion to students of American government as they navigate their undergraduate programs. It serves as a bridge between research methods classes and student research, making it a valuable supplement for an applied research methods class, as well as a useful supplement for introduction to American government courses or introduction to Political Science courses. Moreover, students completing honors papers, capstone assignments, or any substantial research projects in the field of American government will find the ideas and guidance provided in this work to be invaluable.
Stephen E. Frantzich is professor of political science at the U.S. Naval Academy where he was selected as the outstanding professor in 1990, runner-up as outstanding researcher in 2001 and as one of the first USNA Teaching Fellows in 2002. He is the author of over a dozen books, most recently Citizen Democracy: Citizen Activists in a Cynical Age (2008) and Founding Father: How C-span's Brian Lamb Changed Politics In America (2008). Long a practitioner of judicious use of new technology in teaching, he has won awards from the American Political Science Association, C-SPAN, and a variety of publishers. Howard R. Ernst is professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy and Senior Scholar at University of Virginia's Center for Politics. He teaches and researches in the areas of U.S. Government and Constitutional Development, Research Methods, Elections, and Environmental Politics. He is the co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections (2007) and author of Chesapeake Bay Blues: Science, Politics, and the Struggle to Save the Bay (2003). As a Senior Scholar at the Center for Politics, Dr. Ernst advises the institute on issues related to electoral politics, environmental politics, and civic engagement.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Thinking Like a Political Scientist Chapter 2 The Constitution and Found Era Chapter 3 Congress and the Legislative Process Chapter 4 The Presidency and the Bureaucracy Chapter 5 The Federal Judiciary Chapter 6 State and Local Government Chapter 7 The Media Chapter 8 Political Parties and the Interest Groups Chapter 9 Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting