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Regular version of the site

Methodology and Methods of Social and Political Research

2023/2024
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
6
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
2 year, 1, 2 module

Instructors

Course Syllabus

Abstract

We will discuss 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 data-driven decision-making process. 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 research methodology in social and political science. They will get familiar with the main methods and approaches, get basic model thinking skills, and learn to formulate a testable model of social/ political processes
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • 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
  • Able to organize and conduct political analysis of socially significant projects
  • 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 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 use modern empirical databases (including international ones) in scientific and project activities, independently create databases for the implementation of research and practical tasks
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Research basics: research cycle and research purpose
  • Research designs 1: criteria and types
  • Research designs 2: quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research
  • Sampling: sampling biases, response styles and systematic lying
  • Types of data
  • Nature of social explanation. Theories of the middle range
  • Process of instantiation. Concepts and nomological networks
  • Thought experiments in social science. the nature of relationships
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking reaction papers
    Students will write short reaction papers (up to 1.5 pages) for each reading they are assigned. Reaction paper should include two parts: description of the main ideas of the text, and student's reaction: their personal opinion about what they read.
  • non-blocking final exam
    Final exam is conducted in a form of an essay. Based on the description of a situation, students have to propose a research methodology, describe its strengths and limitations
  • non-blocking projects
    Students will participate in 4 mini-group projects, which are aimed at the application of the knowledge and skills they get during the classes to real problems. They will have to develop a research design of a given type or create a theoretical model, and then present it during the class. After the presentation, students will correct the project following the comments and then individually submit it to get the final grade.
  • non-blocking in-class activities
    Activity in the class during seminars: students are expected to ask meaningful questions and participate in group discussions. Attendance of classes as such doesn't count as activity.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.3 * final exam + 0.3 * projects + 0.25 * in-class activities + 0.15 * reaction papers
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Babbie, E. R. (2016). The Practice of Social Research: Vol. Fourteenth editon. Cengage Learning.
  • 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
  • Ruane, J. M. (2016). Introducing Social Research Methods : Essentials for Getting the Edge. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1107215

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Alan Bryman, & The Programme Aims. (2001). Social research methods. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.151A861A
  • 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.
  • Theory construction and model-building skills : a practical guide for social scientists, Jaccard, J., 2020