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On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake off Japan’s northeast coast triggered a tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people, displaced 600,000, and caused billions of dollars in damage as well as a nuclear meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Japan, the world’s third largest economy, was already grappling with recovery from both its own economic recession of the 1990s and the global recession following the US-driven financial crisis of 2008 when the disaster hit, changing its fortunes yet again. This small, populous Asian nation—once thought to be a contender for the role of the world’s number one power—now faces a world of uncertainty. Japan’s economy has shrunk, China has challenged its borders, and it faces perilous demographic adjustments from decreased fertility and an aging populace, with the country’s population expected to drop to less than 100 million by 2048. In Japan: The Precarious Future, a group of distinguished scholars of Japanese economics, politics, law, and society examine the various roads that might lie ahead. Will Japan face a continued erosion of global economic and political power, particularly as China’s outlook improves exponentially? Or will it find a way to protect its status as an important player in global affairs? Contributors explore issues such as national security, political leadership, manufacturing prowess, diplomacy, population decline, and gender equality in politics and the workforce, all in an effort to chart the possible futures for Japan. Both a roadmap for change and a look at how Japan arrived at its present situation, this collection of thought-provoking analyses will be essential for understanding the current landscape and future prospects of this world power.
Interviews are a frequent and important part of empirical research in political science, but graduate programs rarely offer discipline-specific training in selecting interviewees, conducting interviews, and using the data thus collected. Interview Research in Political Science addresses this vital need, offering hard-won advice for both graduate students and faculty members. The contributors to this book have worked in a variety of field locations and settings and have interviewed a wide array of informants, from government officials to members of rebel movements and victims of wartime violence, from lobbyists and corporate executives to workers and trade unionists. The authors encourage scholars from all subfields of political science to use interviews in their research, and they provide a set of lessons and tools for doing so. The book addresses how to construct a sample of interviewees; how to collect and report interview data; and how to address ethical considerations and the Institutional Review Board process. Other chapters discuss how to link interview-based evidence with causal claims; how to use proxy interviews or an interpreter to improve access; and how to structure interview questions. A useful appendix contains examples of consent documents, semistructured interview prompts, and interview protocols. Contributors: Frank R. Baumgartner, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Matthew N. Beckmann, University of California, Irvine; Jeffrey M. Berry, Tufts University; Erik Bleich, Middlebury College; Sarah M. Brooks, The Ohio State University; Melani Cammett, Brown University; Lee Ann Fujii, University of Toronto; Mary Gallagher, University of Michigan; Richard L. Hall, University of Michigan; Marie Hojnacki, Pennsylvania State University; David C. Kimball, University of Missouri, St. Louis; Beth L. Leech, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Julia F. Lynch, University of Pennsylvania; Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University; Lauren Maclean, Indiana University; Layna Mosley, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Robert Pekkanen, University of Washington; William Reno, Northwestern University; Reuel R. Rogers, Northwestern University
Behavioral and Social Science Research: A National Resource specifies appropriate criteria for assessing the value, significance, and social utility of basic research in the social sciences. This report identifies illustrative areas of basic research in the social sciences that have developed analytic frameworks of high social utility and describes the development of these frameworks and their utilization. It also identifies illustrative areas of basic research in the social sciences that are likely to be of high value, significance, and/or social utility in the near future, reviews the current state of knowledge in these areas, and indicates research efforts needed to bring these areas to their full potential.
For years proposals for gun control and the ownership of firearms have been among the most contentious issues in American politics. For public authorities to make reasonable decisions on these matters, they must take into account facts about the relationship between guns and violence as well as conflicting constitutional claims and divided public opinion. In performing these tasks, legislators need adequate data and research to judge both the effects of firearms on violence and the effects of different violence control policies. Readers of the research literature on firearms may sometimes find themselves unable to distinguish scholarship from advocacy. Given the importance of this issue, there is a pressing need for a clear and unbiased assessment of the existing portfolio of data and research. Firearms and Violence uses conventional standards of science to examine three major themes - firearms and violence, the quality of research, and the quality of data available. The book assesses the strengths and limitations of current databases, examining current research studies on firearm use and the efforts to reduce unjustified firearm use and suggests ways in which they can be improved.
Few world regions today are of more pressing social and political interest than the Middle East: hardly a day has passed in the last decade without events there making global news. Understanding the region has never been more important, yet the field of Middle East studies in the United States is in flux, enmeshed in ongoing controversies about the relationship between knowledge and power, the role of the federal government at universities, and ways of knowing “other” cultures and places. Assembling a wide range of scholars immersed in the transformations of their disciplines and the study of this world region, Middle East Studies for the New Millennium explores the big-picture issues affecting the field, from the geopolitics of knowledge production to structural changes in the university to broader political and public contexts. Tracing the development of the field from the early days of the American university to the “Islamophobia” of the present day, this book explores Middle East studies as a discipline and, more generally, its impact on the social sciences and academia. Topics include how different disciplines engage with Middle East scholars, how American universities teach Middle East studies and related fields, and the relationship between scholarship and U.S.-Arab relations, among others. Middle East Studies for the New Millennium presents a comprehensive, authoritative overview of how this crucial field of academic inquiry came to be and where it is going next.

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