Taylor and Francis Group is part of the Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


About the Book

Turn the standard research methods teaching model on its head with this innovative approach. Political Science Research in Practice engages students first with pressing political questions and then demonstrates how a researcher has gone about answering them, walking through real political science research that contributors have conducted. Through the exemplary use of survey research, experiments, field research, case studies, content analysis, interviews, document analysis, statistical research, and formal modeling, each chapter introduces students to a method of empirical inquiry through a specific topic that will spark their interest and curiosity. Each chapter shows the process of developing a research question, how and why a particular method was used, and the rewards and challenges discovered along the way. Students can better appreciate why we need a science of politics—why methods matter—with these first-hand, issue-based discussions.


Joshua M. Cowen is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. He is also a senior analyst of a new and official evaluation of the Milwaukee voucher program. He has published papers on charter school sponsorship and compliance models in school voucher randomized trials. At the Martin School, he teaches courses in public policy and program evaluation.

David J. Fleming is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Furman University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. He has published work in the Journal of School Choice and is a member of the research team that is evaluating the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. He teaches classes in American politics, research methods, and public policy.

Sarah Allen Gershon is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University.  Her research interests include political communication, gender politics and race and ethnicity. She has published articles in the Journal of Politics, Social Science Quarterly, Party Politics and the International Journal of Press/Politics.  She has also contributed chapters to the edited volumes: Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of América, and The Promise of Welfare Reform: Rhetoric or Reality?

James L. Guth is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science at Furman University. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the co-author or co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics, The Bully Pulpit, Religion and the Culture Wars, and The Bible and the Ballot Box. His work has also appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, European Union Politics, Sociological Analysis, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and in many other journals and edited collections.

Kai He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Utah State University. He is the author of Institutional Balancing in the Asia Pacific: Economic Interdependence and China's Rise (Routledge 2009). He has published articles in European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, The Pacific Review, Journal of Contemporary China, Asian Security, Asian Perspective, and International Relations of the Asia Pacific. He is a recipient of the 2009-2010 Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Lyman A. Kellstedt is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Wheaton College (IL).  He is the co-author or co-editor of various books including the 2009 The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics.  In addition, he has written scores of journal articles and book chapters in the field of religion and politics. 

Akan Malici is Associate Professor of Political Science at Furman University.  He is the author of When Leaders Learn and When They Don’t (SUNY 2008) and The Search for a Common European Foreign and Security Policy (Palgrave 2008).  He is the co-author of U.S. Presidents and Foreign Policy Mistakes (Stanford University Press 2011) and the co-editor of Rethinking Foreign Policy Analysis (Routledge  2011). His published articles appear in The Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology and in other journals.

Katherine Palmer Kaup is Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at Furman University. She is author of Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China (Lynne Rienner Press 2000), editor of Understanding Contemporary Asia Pacific (Lynne Rienner 2007) and she has written numerous articles and book chapters on ethnic politics in China.  She served as Visiting Scholar at the Yunnan Nationalities Institute and the Guangxi Ethnic Affairs Commission in China and as Senior Advisor on Minority Nationality Affairs for the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Adrian D. Pantoja is Associate Professor of Political Studies and Chicano Studies at Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges.  Professor Pantoja’s research revolves around the Latino population, immigration, public opinion, and voter behavior.  His research has appeared in journals including, Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, Social Science Quarterly, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Migration and the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy.  He has also written chapters numerous edited volumes.

Elizabeth S. Smith is Professor of Political Science at Furman University.  She received her Ph.D. in American politics with a minor in political psychology from the University of Minnesota.  She has taught research methods for over 14 years.  She has published articles and chapters in The Journal of Political Science Education, Polity, Political Psychology, The Handbook for Teaching Social Issues, the American Education Research Journal and in an edited volume entitled Competition in Theory and Practice: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Sense Publishers 2009).

Kristina Thalhammer is Professor of Political Science at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  She is coauthor of Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People  (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), a chapter in Charter Schools, Vouchers, and Public Education (Brookings Institution, 2001) and articles in Perspectives on Politics and Political Psychology among other publications.

C. Danielle Vinson is Professor of Political Science at Furman University.  She is the author of Local Media Coverage of Congress and Its Members 9Hampton Press 2003) and Congress and the Media (Paradigm Publishers 2013).  She has published articles or chapters in Political Communication, The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics, and in the edited volumes Media Power, Media Politics and Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion.

Stephen G. Walker is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University. His publications in edited volumes include chapters in Role Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis (Duke, 1987), The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders (University of Michigan, 2003) Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics (Palgrave, 2006) and The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency (Oxford, 2009). His research has also appeared in several journals, including World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, and International Studies Quarterly.