Hostname: page-component-7dc689bd49-sqk25 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-20T09:53:58.800Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Mere Description

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2012


This article attempts to reformulate and resuscitate the seemingly prosaic methodological task of description, which is often derided in favour of causal analysis. First, the problem of definition is addressed: what does this category of analysis (‘description’) refer to? Secondly, a taxonomy of descriptive arguments is offered, emphasizing the diversity contained within this genre of empirical analysis. Thirdly, the demise of description within political science is charted over the past century, with comparisons to other disciplines. Fourthly, it is argued that the task of description ought to be approached independently, not merely as a handmaiden of causal theories. Fifthly, the methodological difficulties of descriptive inference are addressed. Finally, fruitful research areas within the rubric of description are reviewed.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Department of Political Science, Boston University (email: This article has benefited enormously from comments received from Robert Adcock, Ben Bishin, Fred Chernoff, Michael Coppedge, Zachary Elkins, Colin Elman, Gary Goertz, Andy Harris, Patrick Johnston, Evan Lieberman, Drew Linzer, James Mahoney, Fred Schaffer, Andreas Schedler, Carsten Schneider and David Waldner. The author is also grateful to Joshua Yesnowitz, who conducted the content analysis for Figures 2–4.


1 Kaplan, Abraham, The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science (San Francisco: Chandler, 1964)Google Scholar

2 Sen, Amartya, ‘Description as Choice’, Oxford Economic Papers, 32 (1980), 353369CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Singer, J. David, ‘The Level-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations’, World Politics, 14 (1961), 7792CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Clark, John and Banks, Joseph, ‘Description of an Extraordinary Production of Human Generation, with Observations’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 83 (1793), 154163CrossRefGoogle Scholar

3 These areas are reviewed briefly in the concluding section of this article.

4 Laudan, Larry, Science and Values (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983)Google Scholar

Schaffer, Simon, ‘What is Science?’, in John Krige and Dominique Pestre, eds, Science in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association, 1997), pp. 2742Google Scholar

5 Indeed, readers who are unwilling to accept my terminological argument will find the rest of this essay bewildering.

6 John Gerring, Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)Google Scholar

7 Judea Pearl, Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)Google Scholar

8 How questions partake of both worlds, which is to say, they can be differently viewed.

9 Stanovich, Keith E. and West, Richard F., ‘Discrepancies between Normative and Descriptive Models of Decision Making and the Understanding/Acceptance Principle’, Cognitive Psychology, 38 (1999), 349385CrossRefGoogle Scholar

10 One must infer what the outcome of a case might be if were exposed to the counterfactual condition.

11 Elster, Jon, Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Hollis, Martin and Smith, Steve, Explaining and Understanding International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990)Google Scholar

King, GaryKeohane, Robert O. and Verba, Sidney, Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994)Google Scholar

12 Dessler, David, ‘Beyond Correlations: Toward a Causal Theory of War’, International Studies Quarterly, 35 (1991), 337355CrossRefGoogle Scholar

13 Wendt, Alexander, ‘On Constitution and Causation in International Relations’, Review of International Studies, 24 (1998), 101117CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Wendt, Alexander, The Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

14 Gelman, Andrew, ‘Describing Descriptive Studies Using Descriptive Language, or the Practical Virtues of Statistical Humility’, Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science (March 2009)Google Scholar

15 Achen, Christopher H., Interpreting and Using Regression (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

16 White, Theodore H., The Making of the President 1960 (New York: Atheneum House, 1961)Google Scholar

17 Morgan, Garethed., Beyond Method: Strategies for Social Research (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1983)Google Scholar

Williams, Malcolm, ‘Interpretivism and Generalisation’, Sociology, 34 (2000), 209224CrossRefGoogle Scholar

18 Contra King, Keohane and Verba, Designing Social Inquiry, p. 34.

19 Gerring, John, Case Study Research: Principles and Practices (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)Google Scholar

20 Berk, Richard A., Regression Analysis: A Constructive Critique (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

21 Jacoby, William G., ‘Levels of Measurement and Political Research: An Optimistic View’, American Journal of Political Science, 43 (1999), 271301CrossRefGoogle Scholar

22 Monty G. Marshall and Keith Jaggers, ‘Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800–2006’, (2007),

23 Freedom House, ‘Freedom in the World’ (2010),

24 Schattschneider, E. E., The Semi-Sovereign People (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1960)Google Scholar

Verba, SidneySchlozman, Kay Lehman and Brady, Henry, Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Life (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995)Google Scholar

25 Putnam, Robert D., Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001)Google Scholar

26 Knoke, David, Broadbent, Jeffrey, Tsujinaka, Yutaka and Pappi, Franzeds, Comparing Policy Networks: Labor Politics in U.S., Germany, and Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

27 Hartz, Louis, The Liberal Tradition in America (New York: Harcourt, Brace, World, 1955)Google Scholar

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 2 vols (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945)Google Scholar

28 Pocock, J. G. A., The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975)Google Scholar

29 Smith, Rogers M., ‘Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hartz: The Multiple Traditions in America’, American Political Science Review, 87 (1993), 549566CrossRefGoogle Scholar

30 Bailey, Kenneth D., ‘Polythetic Reduction of Monothetic Property Space’, Sociological Methodology, 4 (1972), 83111CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Capecchi, Vittorio, ‘On the Definition of Typology and Classification in Sociology’, Quality and Quantity, 2 (1968), 930CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Collier, DavidLaPorte, Jody and Seawright, Jason, ‘Putting Typologies to Work: Levels of Measurement, Concept-Formation, and Analytic Rigor’, Political Research Quarterly, 65 (2012), 217232CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Elman, Colin, ‘Explanatory Typologies in Qualitative Studies of International Politics’, International Organization, 59 (2005), 293326CrossRefGoogle Scholar

George, Alexander L. and Bennett, Andrew, Case Studies and Theory Development (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005)Google Scholar

Wiarda, Howard J.ed., New Directions in Comparative Politics (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1991)Google Scholar

Lenski, Gerhard, ‘Societal Taxonomies: Mapping the Social Universe’, Annual Review of Sociology, 20 (1994), 126CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Lijphart, Arend, ‘Typologies of Democratic Systems’, Comparative Political Studies, 1 (1968), 344CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Marradi, Alberto, ‘Classification, Typology, Taxonomy’, Quality & Quantity, 24 (1990), 129157CrossRefGoogle Scholar

McKinney, John C., ‘The Role of Constructive Typology in Scientific Sociological Analysis’, Social Forces, 28 (1950), 235240CrossRefGoogle Scholar

McKinney, John C., ‘Polar Variables of Type Construction’, Social Forces, 35 (1957), 300306CrossRefGoogle Scholar

McKinney, John C., ‘Typification, Typologies, and Sociological Theory’, Social Forces, 48 (1969), 112CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Nowotny, Helga, ‘The Uses of Typological Procedures in Qualitative Macrosociological Studies’, Quality & Quantity, 6 (1971), 337CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Smith, Kevin B., ‘Typologies, Taxonomies, and the Benefits of Policy Classification’, Policy Studies Journal, 30 (2002), 379395CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Whittaker, John C.Caulkins, Douglas and Kamp, Kathryn A., ‘Evaluating Consistency in Typology and Classification’, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 5 (1998), 129164CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Wiseman, H. V., Political Systems: Some Sociological Approaches (New York: Praeger, 1966)Google Scholar

31 Samuel E. Finer, The History of Government, Vols. 1–3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)Google Scholar

32 Doorenspleet, Renske, ‘Reassessing the Three Waves of Democratization’, World Politics, 52 (2000), 384406CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Huntington, Samuel P., The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991)Google Scholar

33 Some writers define ‘typology’ as having a matrix form. This usage seems more common in settings where the typology is playing a causal role, i.e., where the intersection of two or more attributes explains (causally) the values found in the resulting cells (Elman, ‘Explanatory Typologies in Qualitative Studies of International Politics’). My understanding of a matrix typology does not preclude causal relationships, but it does not presume them either. This is consistent with Collier, LaPorte and Seawright, ‘Putting Typologies to Work’, who use the term ‘multidimensional typology’.

34 Dahl, Robert A., Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1971)Google Scholar

35 Collier, David and Jr, James E. Mahon, ‘Conceptual “Stretching” Revisited: Adapting Categories in Comparative Analysis’, American Political Science Review, 87 (1993), 845855CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Lakoff, George, Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

36 Michael Coppedge, John Gerring, et al., ‘Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: A New Approach’, Perspectives on Politics, 9 (2011), 247267CrossRefGoogle Scholar

David Held, Models of Democracy, 3rd edn (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006)Google Scholar

37 A more detailed treatment is offered in Gerring, Social Science Methodology, chap. 6.

38 Hoover, Kevin D., ‘Lost Causes’, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 26 (2004), 149164CrossRefGoogle Scholar

39 Backhouse, Roger E. and Fontaine, Philippeeds, The History of the Social Sciences Since 1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

40 Crosland, Maurice P., Historical Studies in the Language of Chemistry (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962)Google Scholar

Linsley, E. G. and Usinger, R. L., ‘Linnaeus and the Development of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature’, Systematic Zoology, 8 (1959), 3947CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Mayr, Ernst, ‘Origin and History of Some Terms in Systematic and Evolutionary Biology’, Systematic Biology, 27 (1978), 8388Google Scholar

41 Michell, Joel, Measurement in Psychology: A Critical History of a Methodological Concept (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

42 Duncan, Otis Dudley, Notes on Social Measurement: Historical and Critical (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1984)Google Scholar

43 Lerner, Daniel and Lasswell, Harold D.eds, The Policy Sciences (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1951)Google Scholar

44 Boumans, Marceled., Measurement in Economics: A Handbook (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2007)Google Scholar

45 E.g. David J. Bartholomew, ed, Measurement, 4 vols (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2007)Google Scholar

Kimberly Kempf-Leonard, ed., Encyclopedia of Social Measurement, 3 vols (New York: Academic Press, 2004)Google Scholar

Wright, Benjamin D., ‘A History of Social Science Measurement’, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 16 (1997), 3345CrossRefGoogle Scholar

46 Carmines, Edward G. and Zeller, Richard A., Reliability and Validity Assessment (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

47 Henry E. Brady and David Collier, eds, Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards, 2nd edn (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), pp. 67–82Google Scholar

48 King, Keohane and Verba, Designing Social Inquiry, p. 34.

49 Sobel, Michael E., ‘An Introduction to Causal Inference’, Sociological Methods and Research, 24 (1996), 353379CrossRefGoogle Scholar

50 Schedler, Andreas, ‘The Measurer's Dilemma: Coordination Failures in Cross-National Political Data Collection’, Comparative Political Studies, 45:2 (2012), 237–266Google Scholar

51 Firebaugh, Glenn, Seven Rules for Social Research (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008)Google Scholar

52 Lieberson, Stanley, Making it Count: The Improvement of Social Research and Theory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985)Google Scholar

Gelman, Andrew, ‘Causality and Statistical Learning’, American Journal of Sociology, 117 (2011), 955966CrossRefGoogle Scholar

53 Hamilton, Richard F., The Social Misconstruction of Reality: Validity and Verification in the Scholarly Community (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1996)Google Scholar

Lars E. Fyberg, Paul Biemer, Martin Collins, Edith De Leeuw, Cathryn Dippo, Norbert Schwarz and Dennis Trewin, eds, Survey Measurement and Process Quality (New York: Wiley, 1997)Google Scholar

Herrera, Yoshiko M. and Kapur, Devesh, ‘Improving Data Quality: Actors, Incentives, and Capabilities’, Political Analysis, 15 (2007), 365386CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Kurtz, Marcus J. and Schrank, Andrew, ‘Growth and Governance: Models, Measures, and Mechanisms’, Journal of Politics, 69 (2007), 538554CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Munck, Gerardo L., Measuring Democracy: A Bridge between Scholarship and Politics (Baltimore, Md.: John Hopkins University Press, 2009)Google Scholar

Campbell, Stein Rokkan with AngusTorsvik, Per and Valen, Henry, Citizens, Elections, Parties: Approaches to the Comparative Study of the Processes of Development (New York: David McKay, 1970)Google Scholar

54 Bowman, KirkLehoucq, Fabrice and Mahoney, James, ‘Measuring Political Democracy: Case Expertise, Data Adequacy, and Central America’, Comparative Political Studies, 38 (2005), 939970CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Munck, Gerardo L. and Verkuilen, Jay, ‘Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: Alternative Indices’, Comparative Political Studies, 35 (2002), 534Google Scholar

March, James G. and Olsen, Johan P., Democratic Governance (New York: Free Press, 1995)Google Scholar

Pagden, Anthony, ‘The Genesis of Governance and Enlightenment Conceptions of the Cosmopolitan World Order’, International Social Science Journal, 50 (1998), 715CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Pierre, Joned., Debating Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)Google Scholar

55 Habitat, UN, State of the World's Cities 2004–2005: Globalization and Urban Culture (New York: Earthscan Publications, United Nations, 2004)Google Scholar

56 Nie, Norman H.Verba, Sidney and Petrocik, John R., The Changing American Voter (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976)Google Scholar

57 Apter, David E.ed., Ideology and Discontent (London: Free Press of Glencoe, 1964)Google Scholar

58 Milanovic, Branko, Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005)Google Scholar

59 Bourguignon, Francois and Morrisson, Christian, ‘Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820–1992’, American Economic Review, 92 (2002), 727744CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Weinstein, Michael M.ed., Globalization: What's New? (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005)Google Scholar

Firebaugh, Glenn, The New Geography of Global Income Inequality (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

60 Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America; Tocqueville, Democracy in America.

61 Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment.

62 Smith, ‘Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hartz’.

63 Popper, Karl, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (New York: Harper & Row, 1934/1968)Google Scholar

64 Note that in the following discussion I address the generic characteristics of descriptive work; later, I shall attend to differences among descriptive arguments.

65 Resolving membership in the category ‘majoritarian electoral system’ is easier than resolving membership in the category ‘democracy’, just as analysing the cause or effect of a majoritarian electoral system is easier than analysing the cause or effect of democracy.

66 Brown, Michael E., Lynn-Jones, Sean M. and Miller, Steven E.eds, Debating the Democratic Peace (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996)Google Scholar

Elman, Miriam Fendius, Paths to Peace: Is Democracy the Answer? (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997)Google Scholar

67 Buonaccorsi, John P., Measurement Error: Models, Methods, and Applications (London: Chapman & Hall, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

68 Lewis, Jeffrey B. and Linzer, Drew A., ‘Estimating Regression Models in which the Dependent Variable Is Based on Estimates’, Political Analysis, 13 (2005), 345364CrossRefGoogle Scholar

69 Casper, Gretchen and Tufis, Claudiu, ‘Correlation versus Interchangeability: The Limited Robustness of Empirical Findings on Democracy Using Highly Correlated Data Sets’, Political Analysis, 11 (2003), 196203CrossRefGoogle Scholar

70 Weber, Max, The Methodology of the Social Sciences (New York: Free Press, 1905/1949)Google Scholar

71 Collier, DavidHidalgo, Fernando Daniel and Maciuceanu, Andra Olivia, ‘Essentially Contested Concepts: Debates and Applications’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 11 (2006), 211246CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Black, Maxed., The Importance of Language (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1962)Google Scholar

72 Heider, Karl G., ‘The Rashomon Effect: When Ethnographers Disagree’, American Anthropologist, 90 (1988), 7381CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Roth, Wendy D. and Mehta, Jal D., ‘The Rashomon Effect: Combining Positivist and Interpretivist Approaches in the Analysis of Contested Events’, Sociological Methods and Research, 31 (2002), 131173CrossRefGoogle Scholar

73 Holland, Paul W., ‘Statistics and Causal Inference’, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 81 (1986), 945960CrossRefGoogle Scholar

74 For further discussion, see Gerring Social Science Methodology, chap. 12.

75 Bourguignon, FrancoisLevin, Victoria and Rosenblatt, David, ‘Declining International Inequality and Economic Divergence: Reviewing the Evidence through Different Lenses’, Economic Internationale, 100 (2004), 1325Google Scholar

76 Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968)Google Scholar

77 Sen, ‘Description as Choice’.

78 Coppedge, Gerring, et al., ‘Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy’.

79 I am speaking of what might be called average-quality publications. Publications in top journals are probably more likely to involve some original data collection, whether the arguments are causal or descriptive.

80 Bollen, Kenneth A., ‘Issues in the Comparative Measurement of Political Democracy’, American Sociological Review, 45 (1980), 370390CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Pemstein, DanielMeserve, Stephen A. and Melton, James, ‘Democratic Compromise: A Latent Variable Analysis of Ten Measures of Regime Type’, Political Analysis, 18 (2010), 426449CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Treier, Shawn and Jackman, Simon, ‘Democracy as a Latent Variable’, American Journal of Political Science, 52 (2008), 201217CrossRefGoogle Scholar

81 Lalonde, Robert J., ‘Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data’, American Economic Review, 76 (1986), 604620Google Scholar

82 Sartori, Giovanni, ‘Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics’, American Political Science Review, 64 (1970), 10331046CrossRefGoogle Scholar

83 Of course, it can never truly be written out since it undergirds all causal analysis and comprises our factual knowledge of the world.

84 Donsbach, Wolfgang and Traugott, Michael W.ed., Handbook of Public Opinion Research (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

King, Gary, Honaker, JamesJoseph, Anne and Scheve, Kenneth, ‘Analyzing Incomplete Political Science Data: An Alternative Algorithm for Multiple Imputation’, American Political Science Review, 95 (2001), 4969Google Scholar

85 Clinton, Joshua D.Jackman, Simon and Rivers, Douglas, ‘The Statistical Analysis of Legislative Behavior: A Unified Approach’, American Political Science Review, 98 (2004), 355370CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Box-Steffensmeier, Janet, Brady, Henry and Collier, Davideds, The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)Google Scholar

86 Smithson, Michael and Verkuilen, Jay, Fuzzy Set Theory: Applications in the Social Sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Verkuilen, Jay, ‘Assigning Membership in a Fuzzy Set Analysis’, Sociological Methods & Research, 33 (2005), 462469CrossRefGoogle Scholar

87 Abdelal, Rawi, Herrera, Yoshiko M., Johnston, Alastair Iain and McDermott, Roseeds, Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Scientists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Fearon, James D., ‘Ethnic Structure and Cultural Diversity by Country’, Journal of Economic Growth, 8 (2003), 195222CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Posner, Daniel N., ‘Measuring Ethnic Fractionalization in Africa’, American Journal of Political Science, 48 (2004), 849863CrossRefGoogle Scholar

88 Jonathan Andrew Harris, ‘A Method for Extracting Information about Ethnicity from Names’ (presented to the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, Seattle, 2011).

89 Sniderman, Paul M. and Grob, Douglas B., ‘Innovations in Experimental Design in Attitude Surveys’, Annual Review of Sociology, 22 (1996), 377399CrossRefGoogle Scholar

90 ‘Special Issue: The Statistical Analysis of Political Text’, Political Analysis, 16 (2008), 351–477.

91 Hegre, HåvardØstby, Gudrun and Raleigh, Clionadh, ‘Poverty and Civil War Events: A Disaggregated Study of Liberia’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 53 (2009), 598623CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Weidmann, Nils B. and Ward, Michael D., ‘Predicting Conflict in Space and Time’, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 54 (2010), 883901CrossRefGoogle Scholar

92 King, Gary, ‘An Introduction to the Dataverse Network as an Infrastructure for Data Sharing’, Sociological Methods and Research, 36 (2007), 173199CrossRefGoogle Scholar

King, Gary, ‘Ensuring the Data-Rich Future of the Social Sciences’, Science, 331 (2011), 719721CrossRefGoogle Scholar

93 Raleigh, Clionadh, Linke, AndrewHegre, Håvard and Karlsen, Joakim, ‘Introducing ACLED: An Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset’, Journal of Peace Research, 47 (2010), 651660CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Goemans, Hein E.Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede and Chiozza, Giacomo, ‘Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders’, Journal of Peace Research, 46 (2009), 269283CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Beck, Thorsten, Clarke, George, Groff, AlbertoKeefer, Philip and Walsh, Patrick, ‘New Tools and New Tests in Comparative Political Economy: The Database of Political Institutions’, World Bank Economic Review, 15 (2001), 165176CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Weidmann, Nils B.Rod, Jan Ketil and Cederman, Lars-Erik, ‘Representing Ethnic Groups in Space: A New Dataset’, Journal of Peace Research, 47 (2010), 491499CrossRefGoogle Scholar

94 Goertz, Gary, Social Science Concepts: A User's Guide (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006)Google Scholar

95 Collier, LaPorte and Seawright, ‘Putting Typologies to Work’.

96 Adcock, Robert and Collier, David, ‘Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research’, American Political Science Review, 95 (2001), 529546CrossRefGoogle Scholar

97 Gerring, John and Yesnowitz, Joshua, ‘A Normative Turn in Political Science?’ Polity, 38 (2006), 101133CrossRefGoogle Scholar