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Methodology and Research Methods of Political Science

2021/2022
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
3
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
When:
1 year, 1, 2 module

Instructors

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Methods and approaches to data collection, processing and presentation: whether you can trust different data, what role they play in the production of scientific knowledge and in the decision-making process based on data will be discussed during the course. Students will be introduced to the basics of qualitative and quantitative methodology, the principles of developing research design, assessing possible problems during its implementation and subsequent presentation. Particular attention will be paid to understanding the relationship of methods with the purpose of the study and with its theoretical foundations.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • This course aims at introducing students to the basics of model thinking. They will get familiar with the building blocks of any theory, and further will develop the skill to formulate a testable model of social/ political processes
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to use modern empirical databases (including international ones) in scientific and project activities, independently create databases for the implementation of research and practical tasks
  • Able to develop the design of scientific and applied research, including that carried out by a team, based on modern methodologies of political science and general scientific approaches
  • Able to organize and conduct political analysis of socially significant projects
  • Able to independently master new research methods, change the scientific and production profile of their activities
  • Able to reflect (evaluate and process) mastered scientific methods and methods of activity
  • Able to assess, model and predict socio-political processes at the global, international, national, regional and local levels based on the methodology of theoretical and empirical research
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Nature of social explanation. Theories of the middle range
    What is analytical sociology about? What means to give an explanation? Types of bad explanations. Types of good explanations. Theories of the middle range vs grand theories. Middle range theories and social explanations.
  • Process of instantiation. Concepts and nomological networks
    The Process of Instantiation. Shared Meaning, Surplus Meaning, and Nomological Networks. Practical Strategies for Specifying Conceptual Definitions. Multidimensional Constructs. Creating Constructs. An Example of Specifying Conceptual Definitions. Operationism.
  • Thought experiments in social science. the nature of relationships
    Thought Experiments for Relationships in Grounded and Emergent Theory. Describing Relationships with Different Types of Variables. Thought Experiments for Relationships between Categorical Variables. Thought Experiments for Relationships between Quantitative Variables. Thought Experiments for Relationships between Categorical and Quantitative Variables. Thought Experiments for Moderated Relationships. Broader Uses of Hypothetical Factorial Designs in Thought Experiments
  • Causal relations. Defining causality
    Two Types of Relationships: Predictive and Causal. Causality and Grounded/Emergent Theory Types of Causal Relationships. Constructing Theories with Causal Relationships. Identifying Outcome Variables. Identifying Direct Causes. Indirect Causal Relationships. Moderated Causal Relationships. Reciprocal or Bidirectional Causality. Spurious Relationships. Unanalyzed Relationships. Expanding the Theory Further. Perspectives on the Construction of Causal Theories
  • Developing causal diagrams from scratch
    Practical classes on the application of all the knowledge gained in the previous classes. Students have to develop and present their own causal models and middle-range theories for a given case.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking written paper
  • non-blocking tests
  • non-blocking activities in class
  • blocking midterm exam
  • non-blocking final exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.3 * activities in class + 0.2 * final exam + 0.1 * midterm exam + 0.1 * tests + 0.3 * written paper
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hegde, D. S. (2015). Essays on Research Methodology. New Delhi: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1001250
  • Maruyama, G., & Ryan, C. S. (2014). Research Methods in Social Relations (Vol. 8th ed). Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=798826

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Gordon Rugg, & Marian Petre. (2007). A Gentle Guide to Research Methods. Open University Press.
  • Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research Methodology : Methods & Techniques: Vol. 2nd rev. ed. New Age International.