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Regular version of the site

Research Seminar

2021/2022
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
6
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
When:
4 year, 1-3 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course is devoted to the basics of research activity, methodology and methods in political science. Its goal is twofold. Firstly, the seminar assists the students to prepare their final thesis to be submitted and defended by the end of the undergraduate programme. Secondly, the seminar pictures what it means to be a researcher in the modern academic world, how contemporary political science looks like and why skills in doing research can be useful not just for future researchers, but for those who are going to continue their careers in very different professional fields.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Assisting the students to prepare their final thesis to be submitted and defended by the end of the undergraduate programme
  • Develop students' skills in formulating and justifying their research designs
  • This course aims to introduce students to the main concepts and rules of scientific activity as well as to base techniques political scientists use to being prepared to study politics.
  • To highlight the scientific component of research activity
  • Developing skills of writing good literature review
  • Master students' capabilities to develop and implement various research strategies
  • Picturing what it means to be a researcher in the modern academic world
  • Acquaint students with the selected method of research (Ethnography, QCA, Text-as-Data or Process Tracing) and their applications
  • Getting students acquainted with different kinds of research strategies
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is capable of retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field
  • Work with information: find, define and use the information from different sources which required for solving of research and professional problems (including the system approach)
  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks
  • Able to identify scientific subject
  • Able to outlines the need for resources and plan its using for solving professional problems
  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks
  • Work with information: find, define and use the information from different sources which required for solving of research and professional problems (including the system approach)
  • Able to identify scientific subject
  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design
  • Student is capable of reporting the results of the information retrieval and analysis, academic or applied research she/he has conducted: - in various genres (including reviews, policy papers, reports and publications pertaining to socio-political subject matter); - and depending on the target audience
  • Able to do research, including the problem analysis, setting goals and objectives, defining the research subject, selecting research methods including its quality control
  • Able to outlines the need for resources and plan its using for solving professional problems
  • Able to solve professional problems based on synthesis and analysis
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes: by using political science methods and in support of practical decision making process
  • Student is capable of reporting the results of the information retrieval and analysis, academic or applied research she/he has conducted: in various genres (including reviews, policy papers, reports and publications pertaining to socio-political subject matter); and depending on the target audience
  • Able to define the basic principles and peculiarities of the selected research method (ethnography, QCA, text mining, process tracing)
  • Able to develop a research design and research strategy using the selected method
  • Able to formulate and present results of the research based on the selected method
  • Able to interpret the results of the research using the selected method, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses
  • Able to perform data collection and preparation for the analysis using the selected research method
  • Able to perform empirical data analysis using the selected method
  • Able to select and overview scientific literature to characterize a research field
  • Compares and characterises the basic research strategies
  • Enumerates and characterizes the basic elements of research
  • Formulates and justifies the research design and its key components
  • Able to do research, including the problem analysis, setting goals and objectives, defining the research subject, selecting research methods including its quality contro
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes - by using political science methods - and in support of practical decision making process
  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks.
  • Student is capable of reporting the results of the information retrieval and analysis, academic or applied research she/he has conducted: in various genres (including reviews, policy papers, reports and publications pertaining to socio-political subject matter); and depending on the target audience
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes: by using political science methods and in support of practical decision making process.
  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design.
  • Student is capable of retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Seminar 1.1. Basics of the Research. Research Questions.
  • Introduction
  • Introduction to the Course
  • Introduction to the Course
  • Particularities and Constraints of Social Sciences
  • Seminar 1.2. Selecting and Overviewing Literature.
  • Seminar 1.3. Literature Reviews
  • Guidelines for a Good Research Design
  • Communication Rules in Academia
  • Literature review
  • The Structure of Scientific Research
  • Seminar 1.4. Developing a Research Design
  • Research Strategies, Methodologies and Methods
  • Seminar 1.5. Research Strategies, Methods and Data
  • Genres of Academic Texts and Written Test
  • Causal mechanism
  • Process tracing
  • Principles of the Public Talk
  • Chapter 2.1
  • Chapter 2.2.
  • Professional Ethics
  • The Essence of Scientific Research
  • Chapter 2.3.
  • Preparing the Literature Review
  • Experimental Research Strategy
  • Chapter 2.4.
  • Mixed methods
  • Chapter 2.5.
  • Case comparison
  • Chapter 2.6.
  • Chapter 2.7.
  • Chapter 2.8.
  • Case study
  • Chapter 2.10.
  • Chapter 2.9
  • Chapter 2.11
  • Chapter 2.12.
  • Chapter 2.13
  • Chapter 2.14
  • Chapter 2.15
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-Class Participation
    Individual participation in seminars and contribution to discussions, based on the mandatory and optional readings.
  • non-blocking Group project
    A literature review on the chosen topic. Each group presents part of their work throughout first half of the course. For the 7th seminar groups make powerpoint presentation of their literature reviews.
  • non-blocking Essay
    A written individual assignment of 1000-2000 words. Each student writes an essay answering a question which methods could be applied to the topic of student’s coursework and which data should be collected for that. The list of potential methods and approaches is discussed during the 2nd half of the course.
  • non-blocking Test
  • non-blocking seminar participation
  • non-blocking written test
    The written test will be conducted after first six seminars. This test will include both closed- and open-ended types of questions which will cover the content of first six classes.
  • non-blocking Exam
    The final exam is a written test that consists of questions and topics discussed during the seminars.
  • non-blocking In-class participation
    Participation in seminar workshops and contribution to seminar discussions, based on the mandatory readings. In-class participation is evaluated throughout the whole course, hence 25 per cent of the grade comes from the first part of the course and 75 per cent – from the second part.
  • non-blocking Final Paper
    A written group assignment (can be done individually upon request from a student), evaluating students’ progress during the second part of the course. The content of the assignment depends on which track from part 2 is chosen.
  • non-blocking Research Proposal
    As an outcome of the first part of the course, students are supposed to write a research proposal, which outlines the basic elements of the 3rd year course paper.
  • non-blocking Examination
    The exam is held in a written (test) format and is related to (1) the first part and (2) the second part of the course, depending on the chosen method
  • non-blocking Class activity
  • non-blocking Research proposal
    Each research proposal is to include all the major elements of the research design discussed in the classroom. The research proposal is to be submitted to the instructor by November 17, 2019 via LMS. The student has to write a short research proposal of her or his final thesis. The paper should be submitted to LMS by the end of the 4th week of the 2nd module. If the paper is not submitted at time, the instructor decreases her or his grade for the paper (one point for each day after the deadline). The length of the research proposal is 5 pages (Times New Romen, 12, single line spacing), excluding bibliography. The paper includes the following elements of the research design: 1. literature review; 2. research problem, research question and the goal of the research; 3. research tasks; 4. theoretical frameworks and hypothesis; 5. research strategy; 6. research methods. All of these elements should be highlighted in bold in the text of the research project. If an evidence of plagiarism is found in the paper, the instructor must grade “0” for the research proposal.
  • non-blocking Exam
    It is a multiple-choice test which consists of three parts. Part one is a simple one correct answer quiz. Part two is a French-system MCQ with the number of correct answers from null to all. Part three consists of open questions where students can demonstrate their deeper knowledge of the subject.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2018/2019 2nd module
  • 2018/2019 3rd module
  • 2018/2019 4th module
    The cumulative grade is calculated by the following formula: 0.65 * a grade for the seminar participation + 0.35 * a grade for the written test. The final grade for this course is calculated as follows: • 65% for the cumulative grade; • 35% for the final exam.
  • 2019/2020 1st module
  • 2019/2020 2nd module
  • 2019/2020 3rd module
  • 2019/2020 4th module
    0.25 * Essay + 0.25 * Group project + 0.25 * In-Class Participation + 0.25 * Test
  • 2020/2021 1st module
  • 2020/2021 2nd module
  • 2020/2021 3rd module
  • 2020/2021 4th module
    0.25 * Examination + 0.25 * Final Paper + 0.25 * In-class participation + 0.25 * Research Proposal
  • 2021/2022 1st module
  • 2021/2022 2nd module
  • 2021/2022 3rd module
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Approaches and methodologies in the social sciences : a pluralist perspective / ed. by Donatella della Porta . (2008). Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.283822104
  • Bamman, D., Eisenstein, J., & Schnoebelen, T. (2014). Gender identity and lexical variation in social media[The resear]. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 18(2), 135–160. https://doi.org/10.1111/josl.12080
  • Beach, D. V. (DE-588)1079073728, (DE-627)840192312, (DE-576)185046533, aut. (2019). Process-tracing methods foundations and guidelines Derek Beach and Rasmus Brun Pedersen.
  • Beach, D., & Pedersen, R. B. (2018). Selecting appropriate cases when tracing causal mechanisms. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124115622510
  • Blatter, J. (DE-588)112239293, (DE-627)52686365X, (DE-576)166992941, aut. (2012). Designing case studies explanatory approaches in small-N research Joachim Blatter and Markus Haverland.
  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2003). The Craft of Research (Vol. 2nd ed). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=228256
  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2008). The Craft of Research, Third Edition (Vol. 3rd ed). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=272563
  • Christine Trampusch, & Bruno Palier. (2016). Between X and Y: how process tracing contributes to opening the black box of causality. New Political Economy, 5, 437. https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2015.1134465
  • Derek Beach, & Rasmus Brun Pedersen. (2016). Causal Case Study Methods : Foundations and Guidelines for Comparing, Matching, and Tracing. University of Michigan Press.
  • Falleti, T. G., & Lynch, J. (2006). Context and Causal Heterogeneity in Historical Analysis. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–36.
  • Geddes, B. (DE-588)171415787, (DE-576)132211866. (2003). Paradigms and sand castles : theory building and research design in comparative politics / Barbara Geddes. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.104638176
  • I. Rohlfing. (2012). Case Studies and Causal Inference : An Integrative Framework. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Levy, J. S. (2015). Counterfactuals, Causal Inference, and Historical Analysis. Security Studies, 24(3), 378–402. https://doi.org/10.1080/09636412.2015.1070602
  • Lijphart, A. (1971). Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method. American Political Science Review, (03), 682. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v65y1971i03p682.693.13
  • Mahoney, J. (2003). Long-Run Development and the Legacy of Colonialism in Spanish America. American Journal of Sociology, 109(1), 50–106. https://doi.org/10.1086/378454
  • Nguyen, D., Gravel, R., Trieschnigg, D., & Meder, T. (2013). “How old do you think I am?” A study of language and age in Twitter. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E50BF78
  • Però, D., Wright, S., & Shore, C. (2011). Policy Worlds : Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power. New York: Berghahn Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=416088
  • Ragin, C. C. (2013). The Comparative Method : Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. Oakland, California: University of California Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=784602
  • Rethinking social inquiry : diverse tools, shared standards / ed. by Henry E. Brady . (2010). Lanham, Md. [u.a.]: Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.33152886X
  • Schwartz-Shea, P., & Yanow, D. (2006). Interpretation and Method : Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn. Armonk, N.Y.: ME Sharpe, Inc. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=199779
  • Silge, J., & Robinson, D. (2017). Text Mining with R : A Tidy Approach (Vol. First edition). Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1533983

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Bekmurzaev, N., Lottholz, P., & Meyer, J. (2018). Navigating the safety implications of doing research and being researched in Kyrgyzstan: cooperation, networks and framing. Central Asian Survey, 37(1), 100–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2017.1419165
  • Bernard, H. R. (2017). Research Methods in Anthropology : Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (Vol. Sixth Edition). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1621755
  • Beyer, J., Rasanayagam, J., & Reeves, M. (2013). Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia : Performing Politics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=677473
  • Bliesemann de Guevara, B. (2014). On methodology and myths: exploring the International Crisis Group’s organisational culture. Third World Quarterly, 35(4), 616–633. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2014.924064
  • Collier, D. (2011). Understanding Process Tracing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B81C95DE
  • Derek Beach, & Ingo Rohlfing. (2016). Integrating cross-case analyses and process tracing in set-theoretic research: Strategies and parameters of debate. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4219737
  • Fairfield, T., & Charman, A. E. (2017). Explicit Bayesian Analysis for Process Tracing: Guidelines, Opportunities, and Caveats. https://doi.org/10.1017/pan.2017.14
  • Gorgadze Aleksey, & Kolycheva Alina. (n.d.). Mapping Ideas: Semantic Analysis of “Postnauka” Materials. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsclk&AN=edsclk.https%3a%2f%2fcyberleninka.ru%2farticle%2fn%2fmapping-ideas-semantic-analysis-of-postnauka-materials
  • Hale, H. E. (2008). The Foundations of Ethnic Politics : Separatism of States and Nations in Eurasia and the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=234389
  • James Mahoney. (2012). The Logic of Process Tracing Tests in the Social Sciences. Sociological Methods & Research, 4, 570.
  • Judge, W. Q., Fainshmidt, S., & Lee Brown III, J. (2014). Which model of capitalism best delivers both wealth and equality? Journal of International Business Studies, 45(4), 363–386. https://doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2014.13
  • King, G., Pan, J. J., & Roberts, M. E. (2013). How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055413000014
  • Levy, J. S. (2008). Case Studies: Types, Designs, and Logics of Inference. Conflict Management & Peace Science, 25(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/07388940701860318
  • MacKay, J., & Levin, J. (2015). Hanging Out in International Politics: Two Kinds of Explanatory Political Ethnography for IR. International Studies Review, 17(2), 163–188. https://doi.org/10.1111/misr.12208
  • Mario Bunge. (2004). How Does It Work? The Search for Explanatory Mechanisms.
  • Mosse, D. (2005). Cultivating Development : An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London: Pluto Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=167913
  • Munzert, S. (2014). Automated Data Collection with R : A Practical Guide to Web Scraping and Text Mining. HobokenChichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=878670
  • Phillips, E., Johnson, C., & Pugh, D. S. (2015). How to Get a PhD : A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors (Vol. Sixth edition). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1099332
  • Reardon, D. (2006). Doing Your Undergraduate Project. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=251712
  • Ruben Enikolopov, Maria Petrova, & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. (2011). Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia. American Economic Review, (7), 3253. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.101.7.3253
  • Saris, W. E. (2014). Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research (Vol. Second Edition). Hoboken: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=691292
  • Seawright, J., & Gerring, J. (2008). Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research: A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options. Political Research Quarterly, 61(2), 294–308. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912907313077
  • Shesterinina, A. V. (DE-588)1182457673, (DE-627)1662760264, aut. (2019). Ethics, empathy, and fear in research on violent conflict Anastasia Shesterinina, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • Thomas B. Pepinsky. (2010). Colonial Migration and the Deep Origins of Governance: Theory and Evidence from Java. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–46. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=94851009
  • Trejo, G. (2012). Popular Movements in Autocracies : Religion, Repression, and Indigenous Collective Action in Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=458580
  • TURCHENKO, M. (2017). The Rise and Fall of Local Self-Government in Petrozavodsk. Demokratizatsiya, 25(2), 155–173. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asn&AN=122589289
  • Vadim Volkov. (1999). Violent Entrepreneurship in Post-Communist Russia. Europe-Asia Studies, (5), 741. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668139998697
  • Vladimir Gel’man, & Andrey Starodubtsev. (2016). Opportunities and Constraints of Authoritarian Modernisation: Russian Policy Reforms in the 2000s. Europe-Asia Studies, (1), 97. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2015.1113232