WestleMethoden der Politikwissenschaft

When German students begin their studies, they are often surprised at the fact that they are supposed to learn about methods. While studying for their final school exams (‘Abitur’), they have already proved that they can think, which should suffice for politics. However, whereas becoming a politician is easy, becoming an academic is not. This book provides an introduction to the academic discipline of political studies because studying politics without applying systematic methods is not consistent with a university education. In addition to addressing the theoretical basis of quantitative and qualitative research, it also examines how that theory can be implemented in practice, for example in terms of finding and conceiving a research question, selecting a sampling procedure and cases, creating designs, collecting data, and the first steps involved in analysing and interpreting one’s findings. This second edition of the book includes changes that stem from years of the book being used in a teaching environment and which take the form of more in-depth explanations, updated data sets, references to new literature and internet sources, and a greater emphasis on content analysis in certain procedures.