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What Is the Point?: Teaching Graduate Students how to Construct Political Science Research Puzzles
Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden.
Försvarshögskolan, Institutionen för säkerhet, strategi och ledarskap (ISSL), Statsvetenskapliga avdelningen, Sektionen för säkerhetspolitik och strategi.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-7495-055X
2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: European Political Science, ISSN 1680-4333, E-ISSN 1682-0983, Vol. 17, nr 4, s. 634-648Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the key challenges graduate students face is how to come up with a good rationale for their theses. Unfortunately, the methods literature in and beyond political science does not provide much advice on this important issue. While focusing on how to conduct research, this literature has largely neglected the question of why a study should be undertaken. The limited discussions that can be found suggest that new research is justified if it (1) fills a ‘gap’; (2) addresses an important real-world problem; and/or (3) is methodologically rigorous. This article discusses the limitations of these rationales. Then, it proposes that research puzzles are more useful for clarifying the nature and importance of a contribution to existing research, and hence a better way of justifying new research. The article also explores and clarifies what research puzzles are, and begins to devise a method for constructing them out of the vague ideas and questions that often trigger a research process. 

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2018. Vol. 17, nr 4, s. 634-648
Emneord [en]
method, political science, problematization, research puzzles, research design
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7347DOI: 10.1057/s41304-017-0130-yOAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-7347DiVA, id: diva2:1191815
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-03-20 Laget: 2018-03-20 Sist oppdatert: 2019-01-29bibliografisk kontrollert

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