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Бакалаврская программа «Политология и мировая политика»

07
Апрель

Qualitative Methods in Political Research

2023/2024
Учебный год
ENG
Обучение ведется на английском языке
4
Кредиты
Статус:
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
2-й курс, 1, 2 модуль

Преподаватель

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course offers an introduction to qualitative research in a positivist paradigm. In this regard, students will become familiar with case studies (both single and comparative) research and process-tracing, alongside major data collection techniques such as archival work, interviewing, legal analysis, or the use of media sources for constructing a case study. Most topics will be introduced through the combination of introductory lectures, discussions on foundational methodological literature, and critical analysis of exemplary qualitative research. The course consists of three major blocks. The first (topics 1-5) will introduce the major theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research, ranging from the epistemic foundations of positivist research to the differences between nomothetic and idiosyncratic inquiries. The second block (topics 6-13) will be dedicated to the various qualitative research strategies, such as comparative case studies, process-tracing, or set-theoretic methods. The thirds, final block of the course (topics 14-15) will address the practice of qualitative research, by faculty members and senior researchers as well as students.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course offers an introduction to qualitative research in a positivist paradigm.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • has a firm grasp on the essential practical guidelines of research design and planning;
  • deepens his knowledge of qualitative data collection, with a particular focus on interviews;
  • designs rigorous case study research, with legitimate academic objectives and feasible logistical plans.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • 1. Social science as a debate
  • 2. Major traditions in social sciences; nomothetic and idiosyncratic approaches
  • 3. Concept-formation
  • 4. The making and testing of theories
  • 5. Trade-offs and pitfalls in comparative political research
  • 6. Descriptive case studies
  • 7. Comparative case studies
  • 8. Longitudinal case studies
  • 9. Set-theoretic methods
  • 10. Mixed-method research
  • 11. Data-collection and the logistics of case study research
  • 12. Non-interfering data collection methods (archives, legal sources, media, etc.)
  • 13. Interfering data-collection methods (interviewing, surveys, etc.)
  • 14. The practice of qualitative research: guest presentations
  • 15. Student presentation workshops (5 sessions)
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking methodological exercise
    The methodological exercise is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their practical grasp on the various case study methods and techniques through the critical assessment of a published work, relying on the mandatory readings and class discussions. The exercise shall not exceed 1,000 words, including foot/endnotes, excluding bibliography.
  • non-blocking project presentation
    The project presentation should outline a research proposal involving one of the discussed case study methods. The presentation should touch upon the following: 1) research question, 2) identification of units of analysis and units of observation, 3) case selection, 4) expected research outcome, and 5) sources of data and data collection strategies. The presentation should be approximately 10 minutes-long, and followed by a constructive and collegial class discussion.
  • non-blocking exam
    The final exam will be an opportunity for students to demonstrate their familiarity with the core concept and the mandatory readings introduced in the course. The 60 minutes-long exam will consist of multiple-choice questions.
  • non-blocking class participation
    In the class participation component, the following qualities can result in a maximal grade: • frequency and concision of class participations • originality of class contribution • connection between preparation materials and class contributions • contribution to class discussion dynamics • participation in maintaining an inspiring class environment
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.3 * exam + 0.3 * project presentation + 0.1 * class participation + 0.3 * methodological exercise
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hancké, B. (2009). Intelligent Research Design : A Guide for Beginning Researchers in the Social Sciences. Oxford: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=299002
  • King, G., Verba, S., & Keohane, R. O. (1994). Designing Social Inquiry : Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=329740
  • Landman, T. (2008). Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics : An Introduction (Vol. 3rd ed). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=222321

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Eco, U., Farina, G., & Mongiat Farina, C. (2015). How to Write a Thesis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=963778
  • Henry E. Brady, & David Collier. (2010). Rethinking Social Inquiry : Diverse Tools, Shared Standards: Vol. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Henry E. Brady, & David Collier. (2008). The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. OUP Oxford.