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Rethinking Social Inquiry

Diverse Tools, Shared Standards, Second Edition

Edited by Henry E. Brady and David Collier

With innovative new chapters on process tracing, regression analysis, and natural experiments, the second edition of Rethinking Social Inquiry further extends the reach of this path-breaking book. The original debate with King, Keohane, and Verba_now updated_remains central to the volume, and the new material illuminates evolving discussions of essential methodological tools. Thus, process tracing is often invoked as fundamental to qualitative analysis, but is rarely applied with precision. Pitfalls of regression analysis are sometimes noted, but often are inadequately examined. And the complex assumptions and trade-offs of natural experiments are poorly understood. The second edition extends the methodological horizon through exploring these critical tools. A distinctive feature of this edition is the online placement of four chapters from the prior edition, all focused on the dialogue with King, Keohane, and Verba. Also posted online are exercises for teaching process tracing and understanding process tracing. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 428Size: 6 1/8 x 9
978-1-4422-0343-3 • Hardback • September 2010 • $103.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4422-0344-0 • Paperback • September 2010 • $46.00 • (£31.95)
978-1-4422-0345-7 • eBook • September 2010 • $45.99 • (£31.95)
Henry E. Brady is dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently president of the American Political Science Association. David Collier is Robson Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley.
Introduction to the Second Edition: A Sea Change in Political Methodology

Part I: A Debate on Methodology
A. Framing the Debate
1. Refocusing the Discussion of Methodology
2. The Quest for Standards: King, Keohane, and Verba's Designing Social Inquiry

B. Critiques of the Quantitative Template
3. Doing Good and Doing Better: How Far Does the Quantitative Template Get Us?
4. Some Unfulfilled Promises of Quantitative Imperialism
5. How Inference in the Social (but Not the Physical) Sciences Neglects Theoretical Anomaly

C. Linking the Quantitative and Qualitative Traditions
6. Bridging the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide
7. The Importance of Research Design

D. Diverse Tools, Shared Standards
8. Critiques, Responses, and Trade-Offs: Drawing Together the Debate
9. Sources of Leverage in Causal Inference: Toward an Alternative View of Methodology

Part II. Causal Inference: Old Dilemmas, New Tools

Introduction to Part II

E. Qualitative Tools for Causal Inference
10. Process Tracing and Causal Inference
11. On Types of Scientific Inquiry: The Role of Qualitative Reasoning
12. Data-Set Observations versus Causal-Process Observations: The 2000 U.S. Presidential Election

Addendum: Teaching Process Tracing

F. Quantitative Tools for Causal Inference
13. Regression-Based Inference: A Case Study in Failed Causal Assessment
14. Design-Based Inference: Beyond the Pitfalls of Regression Analysis?


Praise for the Second Edition: The new edition of Rethinking Social Inquiry is, quite simply, the best treatise yet on the intersection of qualitative and quantitative methods. The book places causal-process tracing on a new foundation and provides a framework for skeptically evaluating natural experiments. The discussions are conceptually, statistically, and historically rigorous; the examples will have broad appeal.
Daniel Carpenter; Harvard University

I love this book and its pragmatic, ecumenical message. In an era where deep, if artificial, methodological divisions unnecessarily hamstring social research, this book is especially timely. Written by some of the most skilled and innovative methodologists in political science, the individual essays are consistently excellent. But it is the larger message about the need for methodological breadth and variety that will make the book such a valuable teaching tool.
Douglas McAdam, director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

Praise for the First Edition: Rethinking Social Inquiry is a breakthrough book. It powerfully makes the case for social inquiry as a rigorous quest for valid causal inference that must exploit to the full the insights and strengths of both statistical and case-based methods. Brady and Collier and their fellow contributors show the pitfalls of mechanically applying dogmas from 'quantitative' or 'qualitative' extremes. Shared standards are possible; and researchers using diverse research designs can work together to build illuminating, empirically grounded theories. All political scientists—indeed all social scientists—should read and reflect on this compelling set of arguments.
Theda Skocpol, Harvard University

Praise for the First Edition: King, Keohane, and Verba's Designing Social Inquiry aimed at incorporating qualitative research methods into the conceptual framework of quantitative methodology. But was the attempt successful? What is the relationship between qualitative and quantitative methods? In this volume, Brady, Collier, and several other prominent social scientists address these questions in powerful essays. Everyone interested in research methods, and certainly everyone teaching the subject, will want to read this book.
Christopher H. Achen, Princeton University

Praise for the First Edition: [This] book serves a threefold purpose: it gives an excellent brief overview of the fundamentals of quantitative research, including a critique; it describes in detail tools for qualitative research; it gives a perspective o how to use both to maximize research results.
Forum: Qualitative Social Research

The authors display a sophisticated understanding of the diverse strengths and pitfalls of quantitative and qualitative methods of inference within the context of a common commitment to the idea that political science is a scientific enterprise. The essays in this collection ought to be on the reading list of the introductory methods course that all graduate programs offer.
Michael Wallerstein, Yale University

The first edition of Rethinking Social Inquiry was a game changing contribution that decisively moved the methodological discussion into a post-KKV era. This second edition is the new cutting edge. It retains the key insights from the previous version while advancing major new methodological tools, both qualitative and quantitative. No social scientist can afford to be without this book.
James Mahoney, Northwestern University

The revised and reorganized edition of this foundational book expertly draws out the complementarities of quantitative and qualitative methods, including an updated debate with King, Keohane, and Verba. New chapters and online exercises yield novel insights into the rigorous use of process tracing and greatly enhance the book's utility and value.
Diana Kapiszewski, University of California, Irvine

—Simple, straightforward presentation of complex material with a minimum of technical jargon and mathematical notation

—Updated edition breaks new ground with an introduction that scrutinizes the latest trends in methodology, and with innovative chapters on process tracing, regression analysis, and natural experiments

—The editors and contributors are leading figures in the social sciences, including top scholars from both the qualitative and quantitative traditions.

—The debate rages on about the contributions of qualitative and quantitative methods, and the appropriate relationship between them. This book captures the essence of this debate

—Valuable new learning aids—including online exercises, typologies of key tools, an updated glossary, and anexpanded bibliography

—A distinctive feature of this edition is the online placement of four chapters from the prior edition, all focused on the dialogue with King, Keohane, and Verba. Also posted online are exercises for teaching process tracing


If you purchased this book or requested an exam copy, you can request your user name and password to access these links by emailing textbooks@rowman.com.

Direct link: http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com/RL/books/RSI2e


a. Understanding Process Tracing, go to: http://polisci.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/CollierD/Understanding%20Process%20Tracing.pdf

b. Teaching Process Tracing: Examples and Exercises, go to: http://polisci.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/CollierD/Teaching%20Process%20Tracing.pdf

* A password is not needed to access the online material on process tracing. Just click above on the links provided by the editors.

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Lecture Notes. The Lecture Notes provide the tables and figures from the text.