Skip to content

Online ordering will be unavailable on Saturday 10 December 2022, 0800-1800 GMT.

To place an order, please contact Customer Services.

UK/ROW +44 (0) 1223 326050 | US 1 800 872 7423 or 1 212 337 5000 | Australia/New Zealand 61 3 86711400 or 1800 005 210, New Zealand 0800 023 520

Register Sign in Wishlist

Social Science Methodology
A Unified Framework

2nd Edition



Part of Strategies for Social Inquiry

  • Date Published: December 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521132770


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Request inspection copy

Lecturers may request a copy of this title for inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • John Gerring's exceptional textbook has been thoroughly revised in this second edition. It offers a one-volume introduction to social science methodology relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. This new edition has been extensively developed with the introduction of new material and a thorough treatment of essential elements such as conceptualization, measurement, causality and research design. It is written for students, long-time practitioners and methodologists and covers both qualitative and quantitative methods. It synthesizes the vast and diverse field of methodology in a way that is clear, concise and comprehensive. While offering a handy overview of the subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding work in the social sciences.

    • Places social science methodology in a broad historical and intellectual context
    • Relies on basic level criteria of adequacy to ground the methods and practices of the social sciences
    • Identifies broad themes of social science methodology that are useful to practitioners
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gerring is one of the few political scientists who is equally adept at both qualitative and quantitative research, and can make the advantages of each approach clear to students. This book sheds more light on how to study causation in the social sciences than any other text - I recommend it to everyone from active researchers to beginning students.' Jack A. Goldstone, Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

    'Social Science Methodology speaks across paradigms. It is a 'must read' not just for graduate students, but for scholars across fields as Gerring gets to the core of what social scientists do. The bottom line is that readers reach a practical end, which is knowing what approach to use when and how to adapt based on the question posed.' Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science and Courtesy Professor of Sociology, Ohio State University

    'Gerring's book is simultaneously provocative and wise. It is the former in that it advocates for a unified (though not singular) social science methodology. It is the latter in the many ways it recommends that we think about and do science. On the one hand, Gerring has offered a compelling case for what unifies social science methodology. This should be debated for years to come. On the other hand, students of social science will benefit enormously by closely reading this sage volume. They will find particularly valuable his thorough, but nontechnical presentation of causal analysis.' Christopher Winship, Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

    'The second edition presents a remarkable updating and expansion of Gerring's arguments and presentation. A tremendous amount of careful work went into the revisions, and both methodologists and teachers of methodology owe Gerring an enormous debt for producing an even more compelling version of what was already an outstanding book.' David Collier, Chancellor's Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

    'Social Science Methodology is a book with a wealth of well-organised material aimed at both students and practitioners of social science.' Acta Politica

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: December 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521132770
    • length: 518 pages
    • dimensions: 248 x 176 x 24 mm
    • weight: 1.02kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A unified framework
    Part I. General:
    2. Beginnings
    3. Arguments
    4. Analyses
    Part II. Description:
    5. Concepts
    6. Descriptive arguments
    7. Measurements
    Part III. Causation:
    8. Causal arguments
    9. Causal analyses
    10. Causal strategies: X and Y
    11. Causal strategies: beyond X and Y
    12. Varying approaches to causal inference
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    13. Unity and plurality
    14. Setting standards
    Postscript: justifications
    Appendix: a few words on style.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Advanced Methods in Gender & Women's Studies
    • Advanced Mixed Methods
    • Applied Research design
    • Behavioral Methodology in Political Science
    • Comparative Political Parties
    • Comparative Politics Proseminar
    • Conduct of Empirical Inquiry
    • Critical Reasoning in the Study of Politics
    • Data Analysis for Decision Making
    • Doctoral Seminar in Research Design
    • Feminist Political Theory
    • Field Research in Development
    • Foundations of Conflict Analysis
    • Individual and Society ll (research design, honors course)
    • Intro to Justice Research
    • Intro to Research in HDFS
    • Introduction to Empirical Methods of Political Research
    • Introduction to IR Research
    • Methods and practice of political science
    • Policy Analysis of Big Issues
    • Political Science Methods
    • Political Science Research Methodology
    • Practice of Political Research
    • Public Opinion in American Politics
    • Quantitative Analysis in Political Science
    • Quantitative Methods of Political Research
    • Quantitative Research Design
    • Research Design
    • Research Methods
    • Research Methods for Political Science
    • Research Methods in Political Science
    • Research methods in politcs and government
    • Scientific Method and Research Design
    • Seminar in Social Work Theory and Knowledge
    • Social Science Inquiry
    • Social Science Research Methods
    • Social Science Seminar
    • Statistical Methods I
    • Techniques of Political Analysis I
  • Author

    John Gerring, University of Texas, Austin
    John Gerring is Professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he teaches courses on methodology and comparative politics. He has published several books including Social Science Methodology: A Criterial Framework (Cambridge, 2001), Case Study Research: Principles and Practices (Cambridge, 2007) and A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (Cambridge, 2008). He served as a fellow of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, as a member of The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on the Evaluation of USAID Programs to Support the Development of Democracy, as President of the American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research and is the current recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to collect historical data related to colonialism and long-term development.

Browse by related subject

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.