Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards (Second Edition)

This second edition of Rethinking Social Inquiry has the aim of redirecting ongoing discussions of methodology in social and political science. The authors share a commitment to using diverse tools in the pursuit of research, and to shared standards for evaluating their use. The authors examine the relationship between quantitative and qualitative methods and focus on the study of causes and consequences, particularly on causal inference.


"In this Introduction, against the backdrop of these starkly contrasting views of appropriate methods, we examine new developments in methodology that have framed our approach to the second edition of Rethinking Social Inquiry. The discussion focuses on: (1) ongoing controversy regarding KKV's legacy; (2) growing criticism of the standard quantitative template, including regression modeling, significance tests, and estimates of uncertainty; and (3) emerging arguments about both qualitative and quantitative methods that hold the promise of greatly strengthening tools for causal inference." (p.2)


  • List of Figures and Tables 
  • Preface to the Second Edition 
  • Preface to the First Edition 
  • Introduction to the Second Edition 
  • David Collier, Henry E. Brady, and Jason Seawright
    • Part I. A Debate on Methodology  
      • A. Framing the Debate 
        • 1. Refocusing the Discussion of Methodology 
          • David Collier, Henry E. Brady, and Jason Seawright
        • 2. The Quest for Standards: King, Keohane, and Verba's Designing
          • David Collier, Jason Seawright, and Gerado L. Munck
      • B. Critiques of the Quantitative Template
        • 3. Doing Good and Doing Better: How Far Does the Quantitative Template Get Us?
          • Henry E. Brady
        • 4. Some Unfulfilled Promises of Quantitative Imperialism
          • Larry M. Bartels
        • 5. How Inference in the Social (but Not the Physical) Sciences Neglects Theoretical Anomaly
          • Ronald Rogowski
      • C. Linking the Quantitative and Qualitative Traditions
        • 6. Bridging the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide
          • Sydney Tarrow
        • 7. The Importance of Research Design
          • Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sydney Verba
      • D. Diverse Tools, Shared Standards
        • 8. Critiques, Responses, and Trade-offs: Drawing Together the Debate
          • David Collier, Henry E. Brady, and Jason Seawright
        • 9. Sources of Leverage in Causal Inference: Toward an Alternative View of Methodology
          • David Collier, Henry E. Brady, and Jason Seawright
  • Part II. Causal Inference: Old Dilemmas, New Tools
    • E. Qualitative Tools for Causal Inference
      • 10. Process Tracing and Causal Inference
        • Andrew Bennett
      • 11. On Types of Scientific Inquiry: The Role of Qualitative Reasoning
        • David A. Freedman
      • 12. Data-Set Observations versus Causal Process Observations: The 2000 U.S. Presidential Election
        • Henry E. Brady
      • Addendum: Teaching Process Tracing
        • David Collier
    • F. Quantitative Tools for Causal Inference
      • 13. Regression-Based Inference: A Case Study in Failed Causal Assessment
        • Jason Seawright
      • 14. Design-Based Inference: Beyond the Pitfalls of Regression Analysis?
        • Thad Dunning
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography





Brady, Henry E. and David Collier (ed.) (2010). Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards.  Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.