Researchers gather to discuss methods for causal arguments in the study of the history of American Politics

by Nathan K. Micatka and Nicholas Napolio 

While the field of political science may seem staid to outsiders, it has evolved significantly in terms of research methods over the last 40 years. The behaviorally based studies that dominated in the 1970s gave rise to the subfield of American Political Development (APD) in the 1980s as a way to more fully realize and incorporate the study of history and institutions. APD scholars made narrative-based causal arguments to understand the history of American politics. Over the past decade, a trend toward more data-oriented studies of causal relationships has emerged …