Providing a practical overview for graduates and professional researchers, this book highlights the central issues involved in the design of medium to large scale social and economic research. Covering both theoretical and policy research Hakim sets out the key features, strengths and limitations of eight main types of study, with illustrations from real life research of the kinds of questions each can best be used to answer. This book also offers a more general pragmatic discussion of strategies for choosing between one design and another, and on how different types of study can be successfully combined in wider ranging research programmes. In this expanded second edition the author has added new material on areas of contemporary significance across the social and economic sciences. New features to this edition are: * a chapter on cross-national comparative studies * more examples throughout the text of comparative research both within Europe and across modern societies * discussions of student theses, advocacy research, selection effects and collaboration.