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Бакалаврская программа «Социология и социальная информатика»

Research Seminar “Civil and Political Processes”

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
3-й курс, 1-4 модуль


Course Syllabus


This seminar fits the students interested in studying how modern societies function and change, their values and institutions, how people choose common rules of living in societies, how they act to amend them, and how this can be studied. This is a cross-disciplinary seminar drawing from relevant sociology, political science, social psychology, and anthropology research. The seminar starts with introducing political regimes and debates on the meaning of elections and electoral participation; then focuses on the common good dilemmas and cross-cultural perspectives in solving them and writing policy papers. In the third part, students conduct a survey experiment and practise public talks. In the final part, we will look into the politics of memory studies and their methodological debates; students practise writing abstracts to research papers. The seminar is intended for students who attended research seminars of the BA in Sociology and Social Informatics in the previous years.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The objectives of this seminar are to get the students acquainted with current research perspectives and techniques in political and civic processes and to train students' skills or academic speaking, reading, and writing.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • to know the basics of academic reading and writing, academic culture, and the variety of non-academic research output formats
  • to discuss current research perspectives and techniques in political and civic processes, including web and survey experiments
  • to discuss and propose research designs for studying the politics of memory
  • to describe and compare the methods of constructing and changing collective memories
  • to define and apply the concept of collective memory, politics of memory, and the 'usable past'
  • to integrate a cross-cultural perspective to dealing with collective action problems
  • to define the collective action dilemma and suggest literature-based solutions to it
  • to understand and describe youth turnout
  • to propose arguments for and against electoral participation
  • to explain the functions of elections across political regimes
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Applied Political Analysis
    The media eco-system of a research group. Policy papers and memos. Varieties of applied research: UX, design, field studies, data journalism. Writing a policy paper.
  • The Meaning of Elections
    The functions of elections across political regimes. Functions of elections. Turnout. Youth turnout and youth electoral participation. Debates on voting and absenteeism.
  • Collective Action Dilemmas
    What is the public good? Problems of collective action. Institutions for collective action. A 'selection model' of political representation.
  • Experiments in Political Media
    Survey experiments, web experiments and their use. Experimental evidence of television news watching. The effects of partisan personalisation in a news portal experiment. Political blame attribution in a survey experiment.
  • Politics of Memory
    What do memory studies study? Theories of politics of memory. Collective memories. Methods of analysis in memory studies. Constructing the 'usable past.' Transnational communities and collective memories.
  • Critical reading. Writing an abstract to a paper
    Reading strategies. Critical reading techniques. Types of articles. Types of articles and their structure. Extracting information from the article. Reading and writing an abstract to an empirical research paper.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Written assignment (Abstract)
    No late submissions at the end of the year are welcome.
  • non-blocking In-class Participation (Module 1)
  • non-blocking Exam
  • non-blocking Written Assignment (Policy Paper)
  • non-blocking In-Class Participation (Module 3)
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.2 * Exam + 0.2 * In-class Participation (Module 1) + 0.2 * In-Class Participation (Module 3) + 0.2 * Written assignment (Abstract) + 0.2 * Written Assignment (Policy Paper)


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Assmann, A. (2014). Transnational Memories. European Review, (04), 546. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.eurrev.v22y2014i04p546.556.00
  • Callander, S., & Wilson, C. H. (2007). Turnout, Polarization, and Duverger’s Law. Journal of Politics, 69(4), 1047–1056. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00606.x
  • Elinor Ostrom. (2000). Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms. Journal of Economic Perspectives, (3), 137. https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.14.3.137
  • Iyengar, S., Peters, M. D., & Kinder, D. R. (1982). Experimental Demonstrations of the “Not-So-Minimal” Consequences of Television News Programs. American Political Science Review, 04, 848.
  • Olick, J. K. (1999). Collective Memory: The Two Cultures. Sociological Theory, 17(3), 333. https://doi.org/10.1111/0735-2751.00083
  • Shortt, L., Assmann, A., & Palgrave Connect (Online Service). (2012). Memory and Political Change. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=412033

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Abelson, D. E. (2018). Do Think Tanks Matter? Third Edition : Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes (Vol. Third edition, revvised and expanded). Montreal: MQUP. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1944843
  • Manarin, K., Carey, M., Rathburn, M., Ryland, G., Hutchings, P. Critical Reading in Higher Education : Academic Goals and Social Engagement. - Indiana University Press, 2015. - ISBN 9780253018830, 9780253018984 - Electronic text // ProQuest Ebook Central. - URL: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hselibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=4088470&query=Critical+Reading+in+Higher+Education+%3A+Academic+Goals+and+Social+Engagement (accessed 6.11.19)