This is the first book to explain how to use key methods in analytical political theory. The methods discussed include contractualism, reflective equilibrium, positive political theory, thought experiments and ideological analysis. Many discussions of political theory methods describe and justify these methods with little or no discussion of their application, emphasizing 'what is' and 'why do' over 'how to'. This book covers all three. Each chapter explains what kinds of problems in political theory might require researchers to use a particular method, the basic principles behind the method being proposed, and an analysis of how to apply it, including concrete principles of good practice. The book thus summarizes methodological ideas, grouped in one place and made accessible to students, and it makes innovative contributions to research methods in analytical political theory.