A Sea Change in Political Methodology

Newsletter of the American Political Science Association, Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring 2011

20 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2011  

David Collier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science

Henry E. Brady

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science

Jason Seawright

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The past decade has witnessed a sea change in political science methodology. Conventional quantitative methods are now the focus of even sharper criticism. The tools of qualitative analysis are being further refined and legitimated in ways that addresses some of these failings. Qualitative tools certainly have their own problems and limitations, but real progress is being made. Natural experiments, notwithstanding their limitations, likewise show promise, and in the spirit of multi-method work they are far more valuable when basic choices about design and analysis are built on deep qualitative knowledge of cases and context. Correspondingly, an eclectic practice of methodology is the most promising avenue to pursue.

Suggested Citation

Collier, David and Brady, Henry E. and Seawright, Jason, A Sea Change in Political Methodology (2010). Newsletter of the American Political Science Association, Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1751826

David Collier (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Henry E. Brady

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Jason Seawright

Northwestern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Scott Hall
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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