Field Experiments in Political Science and Public Policy: Practical Lessons in Design and Delivery

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Field experiments -- randomized controlled trials -- have become ever more popular in political science, as well as in other disciplines, such as economics, social policy and development. Policy-makers have also increasingly used randomization to evaluate public policies, designing trials of tax reminders, welfare policies and international aid programs to name just a few of the interventions tested in this way. Field experiments have become successful because they assess causal claims in ways that other methods of evaluation find hard to emulate.

Social scientists and evaluators have rediscovered how to design and analyze field experiments, but they have paid much less attention to the challenges of organizing and managing them. Field experiments pose unique challenges and opportunities?for the researcher and evaluator which come from working in the field. The research experience can be challenging and at times hard to predict. This book aims to help researchers and evaluators plan and manage their field experiments so they can avoid common pitfalls. It is also intended to open up discussion about the context and backdrop to trials so that these practical aspects of field experiments are better understood.

The book sets out ten steps researchers can use to plan their field experiments, then nine threats to watch out for when they implement them. There are cases studies of voting and political participation, elites, welfare and employment, nudging citizens, and developing countries.
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Published on
Jan 6, 2017
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Political Science / General
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Research
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Eligible for Family Library

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection

“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
`Its strength lies in combining theoretical insights with an impressive range of empirical material. The analysis is subtle and multi-layered.... This is a timely and important book' - Political Studies

`Local governance have gained massive attention among scholars and practitioners during the past several years. Peter John's book fills a void in the literature by tracing the historical roots of local governance and by placing his findings in a comparative perspective' - Professor Jon Pierre, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

`Peter John has produced a fascinating and stimulating book in which he assesses current developments in urban politics and local government in Europe and suggests how these changes are leading to different patterns of sub-national territorial politics in the EU today. What he has to say is of important interest to all students of local government; comparative politics and of territorial politics more generally' - Michael Goldsmith, University of Salford

`this book offers a fascinating comparative analysis... themes such as New Public Management, globalisation, regionalism and privatisation will be relevant to numerous courses in government, politics, public administration and public policy' - West European Politics

This text provides a comprehensive introduction to local government and urban politics in contemporary Western Europe. It is the first book to map and explain the change in local political systems and to place these in comparative context.

The book introduces students to the traditional structures and institutions of local government and shows how these have been transformed in response to increased economic and political competition, new ideas, institutional reform and the Europeanization of public policy.

At the book's core is the perceived transition from local government to local governance. The book traces this key development thematically across a wide range of West European states including: Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Winner of the prestigious First Prize in ENT in 2005 from the British Medical Association (first edition)The second edition of this operative manual provides expanded coverage of the complex anatomy and the current surgical approaches to the paranasal sinuses and skull base. It provides practical, step-by-step instruction on using CT scans to reconstruct three-dimensional images of surgical anatomy, enabling the surgeon to develop detailed surgical plans for each clinical situation. The accompanying DVD is greatly expanded from the first edition's CD-ROM, with 30 additional operative videos plus new problem-based exercises. The operative videos enable practitioners to visualize the surgical concepts described and illustrated in the text. Case exercises provide the opportunity to apply knowledge learned to perform three-dimensional reconstructions--a valuable tool for self-assessment.Highlights of the second edition:Extensive presentation of all the anatomical variations and surgical approaches to the sinuses, parasinus regions, and posterior, middle, and anterior cranial fosseStraightforward outlines for approaching the frontal sinus and frontal recess, maxillary sinus trephination, dacryocystorhinostomy surgery, cerebrospinal fluid leak closure, orbital and optic nerve decompression, and Vidian neurectomy830 diagrams, illustrations, and images demonstrating anatomy and surgical techniquesDetailed coverage of endoscopic surgical approaches to tumors of the sinuses and in the intracranial cavityDiscussion of the value and importance of axial CT for determining drainage pathwaysEssential for ENT surgeons, otolaryngologists, and residents, the book equips readers with all the information necessary for handling the range of anatomical variations that may be encountered and selecting the best approach for each.
As people spend increasing proportions of their daily lives using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, they are being invited to support myriad political causes by sharing, liking, endorsing, or downloading. Chain reactions caused by these tiny acts of participation form a growing part of collective action today, from neighborhood campaigns to global political movements. Political Turbulence reveals that, in fact, most attempts at collective action online do not succeed, but some give rise to huge mobilizations—even revolutions.

Drawing on large-scale data generated from the Internet and real-world events, this book shows how mobilizations that succeed are unpredictable, unstable, and often unsustainable. To better understand this unruly new force in the political world, the authors use experiments that test how social media influence citizens deciding whether or not to participate. They show how different personality types react to social influences and identify which types of people are willing to participate at an early stage in a mobilization when there are few supporters or signals of viability. The authors argue that pluralism is the model of democracy that is emerging in the social media age—not the ordered, organized vision of early pluralists, but a chaotic, turbulent form of politics.

This book demonstrates how data science and experimentation with social data can provide a methodological toolkit for understanding, shaping, and perhaps even predicting the outcomes of this democratic turbulence.

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