Is there a crisis of democracy and participation? Is conflict an inevitable consequence of religious, ethnic, and social difference? The answers to questions like this, whether they are provided by academics, politicians or journalists, can be inconsistent and contradictory. Sandra Halperin and Oliver Heath take a step-by-step approach to research methods, guiding the reader through how to ask and answer questions about the world of politics and international relations. They present practical advice on how to be critical and rigorous, both in terms of evaluating the research of others and doing your own research project. An Online Resource Centre accompanies the text and includes: For students: web links. For lecturers: additional case studies, activities and assignments.