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Political science textbook wins Video Wiki recognition; second edition now available

"Political Science Research in Practice" by Akan Malici and Liz Smith earns place on's "10 best textbooks in political science."

In 2013, International Affairs and Politics professors Akan Malici and Liz Smith published the first edition of “Political Science Research in Practice” (Routledge). The two recently learned the book has been named one of the 10 best textbooks in political science by, also known as “The World’s Video Wiki.”

Political Science
The first edition of “Political Science Research In Practice” won a Video Wiki recognition.

In the book’s description, the editors admit that students tend to dislike political science research methods. But Malici and Smith aim to change that. First, they engage students with pressing political questions, and then they demonstrate how a researcher has gone about answering the questions by walking through real political science research conducted by contributors.

Of the 12 chapters in the text, eight are contributed by Furman professors. Each chapter shows the process of developing a research question, how and why a particular method was used, and the rewards and challenges discovered along the way. The editors say, “With first-hand, issue-based discussions, students can better appreciate the science of politics and why methods matter.”

Long before winning the recognition, Malici and Smith were at work on the second edition of “Political Science Research in Practice” published this year by Routledge. The newest edition includes chapters about field experiments and the textual/interpretative method. The editors explore new topics such as the Arab Spring; political torture; politically-sensitive research in China; social networking; and voter turnout. The text also includes newly-minted sections for “Exercises and Discussion Questions,” “Interested to Know More” and “Recommended Resources.”

Political Science
Malici and Smith released the second edition of “Political Science Research In Practice” this year.

Malici and Smith are particularly proud of the book because it highlights their work at the interface of teaching and scholarship.

Others in the academic community appreciate what the book brings to political science. Said Howard Lavine, Arleen C. Carlson Professor of Political Science at University of Minnesota, “By embedding methodological discussions within the context of important substantive questions, this volume conveys the science of politics in action. I only wish that such a book were available when I was a student.”

Yi Edward Yang, Professor of Political Science at James Madison University, said, “[The new edition] continues the previous edition’s one-of-a-kind storytelling approach that makes political science research approachable, relevant and even fun. It will be welcomed by both teachers and students of political science research methods alike.”

For more information about “Political Science Research in Practice,” 2nd edition,  visit the Routledge website. Or, contact Akan Malici at 864-294-3576, and, or Liz Smith at 864-294-3674, and

Akan Malici is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. He authored “When Leaders Learn and When They Don’t” (SUNY, 2008) and “The Search for a Common European Foreign and Security Policy” (Palgrave, 2008). He co-authored “U.S. Presidents and Foreign Policy Mistakes” (Stanford, 2011) and “Role Theory and Role Conflict in U.S.-Iran Relations” (Routledge, 2016) and co-edited “Re-thinking Foreign Policy Analysis” (Routledge, 2011). He teaches classes in international politics and research methodology.

Elizabeth S. Smith is Chair and Professor, Department of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. She received her Ph.D. in American politics with a minor in political psychology from the University of Minnesota. She has taught research methodology for many years. Her work appears in The Journal of Political Science Education, Polity, Political Psychology, The Handbook for Teaching Social Issues, the American Education Research Journal and in Competition in Theory and Practice (Sense Publishers, 2009).

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