Thinking Like a Political Scientist: A Practical Guide to Research Methods

University of Chicago Press
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Each year, tens of thousands of students who are interested in politics go through a rite of passage: they take a course in research methods. Many find the subject to be boring or confusing, and with good reason. Most of the standard books on research methods fail to highlight the most important concepts and questions. Instead, they brim with dry technical definitions and focus heavily on statistical analysis, slighting other valuable methods. This approach not only dulls potential enjoyment of the course, but prevents students from mastering the skills they need to engage more directly and meaningfully with a wide variety of research.

With wit and practical wisdom, Christopher Howard draws on more than a decade of experience teaching research methods to transform a typically dreary subject and teach budding political scientists the critical skills they need to read published research more effectively and produce better research of their own. The first part of the book is devoted to asking three fundamental questions in political science: What happened? Why? Who cares? In the second section, Howard demonstrates how to answer these questions by choosing an appropriate research design, selecting cases, and working with numbers and written documents as evidence. Drawing on examples from American and comparative politics, international relations, and public policy, Thinking Like a Political Scientist highlights the most common challenges that political scientists routinely face, and each chapter concludes with exercises so that students can practice dealing with those challenges.
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About the author

Christopher Howard is the Pamela C. Harriman Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of two books, The Welfare State Nobody Knows and The Hidden Welfare State, and the coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Mar 7, 2017
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9780226327686
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / Reference
Reference / Writing Skills
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Despite costing hundreds of billions of dollars and subsidizing everything from homeownership and child care to health insurance, tax expenditures (commonly known as tax loopholes) have received little attention from those who study American government. This oversight has contributed to an incomplete and misleading portrait of U.S. social policy. Here Christopher Howard analyzes the "hidden" welfare state created by such programs as tax deductions for home mortgage interest and employer-provided retirement pensions, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit. Basing his work on the histories of these four tax expenditures, Howard highlights the distinctive characteristics of all such policies. Tax expenditures are created more routinely and quietly than traditional social programs, for instance, and over time generate unusual coalitions of support. They expand and contract without deliberate changes to individual programs.

Howard helps the reader to appreciate the historic links between the hidden welfare state and U.S. tax policy, which accentuate the importance of Congress and political parties. He also focuses on the reasons why individuals, businesses, and public officials support tax expenditures. The Hidden Welfare State will appeal to anyone interested in the origins, development, and structure of the American welfare state. Students of public finance will gain new insights into the politics of taxation. And as policymakers increasingly promote tax expenditures to address social problems, the book offers some sobering lessons about how such programs work.

For more than a decade, The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science has been the go-to reference for anyone who needs to write or speak about their research. Whether a student writing a thesis, a faculty member composing a grant proposal, or a public information officer crafting a press release, Scott Montgomery’s advice is perfectly adaptable to any scientific writer’s needs.

This new edition has been thoroughly revised to address crucial issues in the changing landscape of scientific communication, with an increased focus on those writers working in corporate settings, government, and nonprofit organizations as well as academia. Half a dozen new chapters tackle the evolving needs and paths of scientific writers. These sections address plagiarism and fraud, writing graduate theses, translating scientific material, communicating science to the public, and the increasing globalization of research.

The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science recognizes that writers come to the table with different needs and audiences. Through solid examples and concrete advice, Montgomery sets out to help scientists develop their own voice and become stronger communicators. He also teaches readers to think about their work in the larger context of communication about science, addressing the roles of media and the public in scientific attitudes as well as offering advice for those whose research concerns controversial issues such as climate change or emerging viruses.

More than ever, communicators need to be able to move seamlessly among platforms and styles. The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science’s comprehensive coverage means that scientists and researchers will be able to expertly connect with their audiences, no matter the medium.
For more than a decade, writers have turned to William Germano for his insider’s take on navigating the world of scholarly publishing. A professor, author, and thirty-year veteran of the book industry, Germano knows what editors want and what writers need to know to get their work published.

Today there are more ways to publish than ever, and more challenges to traditional publishing. This ever-evolving landscape brings more confusion for authors trying to understand their options. The third edition of Getting It Published offers the clear, practicable guidance on choosing the best path to publication that has made it a trusted resource, now updated to include discussions of current best practices for submitting a proposal, of the advantages and drawbacks of digital publishing, and tips for authors publishing textbooks and in open-access environments.

Germano argues that it’s not enough for authors to write well—they also need to write with an audience in mind. He provides valuable guidance on developing a compelling book proposal, finding the right publisher, evaluating a contract, negotiating the production process, and, finally, emerging as a published author.
“This endlessly useful and expansive guide is every academic’s pocket Wikipedia: a timely, relevant, and ready resource on scholarly publishing, from the traditional monograph to the digital e-book. I regularly share it, teach it, and consult it myself, whenever I have a question on titling a chapter, securing a permission, or negotiating a contract. Professional advice simply does not get any savvier than this pitch-perfect manual on how to think like a publisher.”—Diana Fuss, Princeton University
An examination of a 1970s Conceptual art project—advertisements for fictional shows by fictional artists in a fictional gallery—that hoodwinked the New York art world.

From the summer of 1970 to March 1971, advertisements appeared in four leading art magazines—Artforum, Art in America, Arts Magazine, and ARTnews—for a group show and six solo exhibitions at the Jean Freeman Gallery at 26 West Fifty-Seventh Street, in the heart of Manhattan's gallery district. As gallery goers soon discovered, this address did not exist—the street numbers went from 16 to 20 to 24 to 28—and neither did the art supposedly exhibited there. The ads were promoting fictional shows by fictional artists in a fictional gallery. The scheme, eventually exposed by a New York Times reporter, was concocted by the artist Terry Fugate-Wilcox as both work of art and critique of the art world. In this book, Christopher Howard brings this forgotten Conceptual art project back into view.

Howard demonstrates that Fugate-Wilcox's project was an exceptionally clever embodiment of many important aspects of Conceptualism, incisively synthesizing the major aesthetic issues of its time—documentation and dematerialization, serialism and process, text and image, publishing and publicity. He puts the Jean Freeman Gallery in the context of other magazine-based work by Mel Bochner, Judy Chicago, Yoko Ono, and Ed Ruscha, and compares the fictional artists' projects with actual Earthworks by Walter De Maria, Peter Hutchinson, Dennis Oppenheim, and more. Despite the deadpan perfection of the Jean Freeman Gallery project, the art establishment marginalized its creator, and the project itself was virtually erased from art history. Howard corrects these omissions, drawing on deep archival research, personal interviews, and investigation of fine-printed clues to shed new light on a New York art world mystery.

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