Journal or Book Title
Public Administration Review
Taagepera, Rein , Making Social Sciences More Scientific: The Need for Predictive Models ( New York : Oxford University Press , 2008 ). 254 pp. $99.00 (cloth) , ISBN: 9780199534661 .
This remarkable book advocates a fundamental methodological paradigm shift for the social sciences. Its Estonian author, Rein Taagepera, is an accomplished political scientist with a doctorate in physics. He also was instrumental in Estonia’s transition to independence as a political essayist, university dean, and party founder. His political career culminated in 1992, when he ran for president of Estonia and placed third with 23 percent of the popular vote (Pettai 2004).
In his academic work, the author has successfully applied quantitative modeling approaches from physics to the study of electoral systems (Taagepera 2007; Taagepera and Shugart 1989). His book Making Social Sciences More Scientific introduces other social scientists to this quantitative methodology with the aim of nothing less than a paradigm shift. In a series of compelling arguments, he advocates the development of predictive models and uses examples from political science and physics to support his case. The resulting book presents complex methodological issues clearly and is a pleasure to read. It conveys thought-provoking and important ideas that are relevant to any researcher in the social sciences.
American Society for Public Administration
Schwab, Andreas, "A Vision and Guidelines for Better Quantitative Studies in the Social Sciences" (2011). Management Publications. 61.