A new guidebook to kindle social science research in the Arab world

October 10, 2022

Contact: Tevah Platt [email protected]

ANN ARBOR – The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization, and the torch it carries, “social science in the public interest,” reflects a determined commitment to educating future generations of social scientists. A new book on the design and conduct of social science research in the Arab world, written by Mark Tessler of ISR’s Center for Political Studies, has the potential to expand the reach and impact of social science research that contributes to informed social advancement.

Tessler’s new book, Social Science Research in the Arab World and Beyond: A Guide for Students, Instructors, and Researchers, has been released by Springer Publishers in its Sociology series; and Qatar University Press has translated the book and is publishing the Arabic edition. Tessler has insisted, and both publishers readily agreed, that the book be available online and open access. The Arabic edition will be formally launched in January at the Doha International Book Fair, one of the largest annual book fairs in the Arab region.

The 180-page volume provides an overview of disciplinary social science research in the Arab world, with emphasis on causal inference and an approach to social inquiry that is sometimes described as theory-driven and data-based. Covering hypothesis formation and research design as well as measurement and data analysis, it situates social science concepts and methods in the social and political environment of the Arab world. It incorporates examples of research in Arab societies and includes exercises using publicly available data from the Arab Barometer public opinion research project. The book provides a foundation that is relevant to social scientists who study the Arab region and especially, Tessler believes, to Arab scholars who conduct social science research.

Tessler’s work on the book was supported by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Tessler is the Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at U-M. He is a leading authority on public opinion in the Middle East, and he is the author of sixteen other books, including Islam and Politics in the Middle East: Explaining the Views of Ordinary Citizens (2015) and Public Opinion in the Middle East: Survey Research and the Political Orientations of Ordinary Citizens (2011), and A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2009, 2nd edition). The first edition of the latter book was a featured selection of the History Book Club and named a “Notable Book of the Year” by the New York Times.

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