When discussing research projects with students, once the core research questions have been established, the next step is how to operationalise the project. This requires consideration of a number of core questions. These include: what is the unit of analysis? How will you define your central concepts? What has been published already on the subject? What frameworks are best suited for your research? What data can best help you answer your research questions, and can you get that data? These are the key themes I will address in this chapter.
The second chapter therefore introduces the main frameworks of analysis that will be used to study the development of the Green Party Taiwan (GPT). In addition, the frameworks for explaining both party change and electoral impact will be introduced. I will explain how I locate this study within the small or ecological parties literature. Lastly, I will briefly introduce the fieldwork methods and data on which this book is based and which have made the research process so enjoyable.