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Regular version of the site

Research Seminar "Eurasian Political Studies"

2019/2020
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
6
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
When:
1 year, 1-3 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course provides students with basic knowledge on the most important aspects of scientific inquiry within the social sciences including various approaches to scientific knowledge, research strategies, methods and techniques. Students will be introduced to the whole research cycle starting from the formulation of hypotheses and research questions, study design, choice of appropriate instruments and measurements, sampling and data collection. The course discusses trade-offs associated with various research designs, contending research methods and how these methods cope with the trade-offs. During theory-oriented sessions and practical seminars students will answer step-by-step various questions about how to design their own study. At the final session, arranged as a conference, students will introduce their own research design by applying knowledge acquired throughout the course.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main aim of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge on the most important aspects of scientific inquiry within the social sciences including various approaches to scientific knowledge, research strategies, methods and techniques
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students can distinguish between various approaches to knowledge in the social sciences
  • Students learn basic steps of research design. They should be able to apply these steps to their own projects.
  • Students understand and are able to distinguish main steps and procedures of quantitative research design.
  • Students understand and are able to distinguish main steps and procedures of qualitative research design.
  • Students understand and are able to distinguish main steps and procedures of mixed methods research design. They have a clear idea of the procedures related to the mixed methods approach.
  • Student understand structure and composition of a project proposal in social sciences.
  • Students understand main principles of a single case study and comparative approach.
  • Students understand basic principles, strategies and rationale of literature review for MA thesis.
  • Students know different data collection strategies and ethical questions that researchers face during data collection.
  • Students get basic skills and knowledge of software that can be useful for data collection, data management and data analysis and presentation of results.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Epistemological Introduction to Social Sciences
    Discussion on various approachess to knowledge in the social sciences
  • Research problems, research questions and hypothesis
    Discussion about research puzzles and development of research question and hypothesis for different research designs
  • Quantitative Approach and Quantitative Research Design
    Discussion about development of research design that uses quantitative data collection and analysis methods.
  • Qualitative Approach and Qualitative Research Design
    Discussion of qualitative research design, general introduction to qualitative research methods of data collection and data analysis
  • Mixed Methods Design
    Discussion of research design that combines both qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Development of Research Proposals
    Session discusses structure and composition of a project proposal
  • Case studies and comparative research design
    This session discusses two major research designs based on a single case study and comparative approach.
  • Writing your Literature Review
    Discussion about strategies and rationale of literature review for MA thesis.
  • Data collection and Fieldwork
    This session discusses different data collection strategies putting particular emphasis on qualitative data collection strategies and fieldwork
  • Software for Social Sciences workshops
    These sessions introduce basic guidance to software that can be useful for data collection, data management and data analysis including QDA software, LaTex, reference management systems.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class participation
  • non-blocking Group presentation
  • non-blocking Essay
  • non-blocking Presentation of research designs
    Students have to present a clear research idea of their study identifying ten- tative research question that will be answered by their research project. Pre- sentation should also outline the main theoretical debate in the area of studies and methodological approaches to the investigation of the topic selected by the student. Finally, possible sources of empirical data should be identified and possible data collection strategies should be discussed. Presentations should be illustrated by 5-7 slides (e.g. PowerPoint or LATEX) reproducing main as- pects of the research projects discussed during the course
  • non-blocking Presentation of research projects
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.25 * Class participation + 0.25 * Essay + 0.25 * Group presentation + 0.25 * Presentation of research designs
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
  • Mahoney, J., & Goertz, G. (2006). A Tale of Two Cultures: Contrasting Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.18538E6D
  • R. Burke Johnson, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, & Lisa A. Turner. (2007). Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.C84A89FE
  • The Oxford handbook of political methodology / ed. by Janet Box-Steffensmeier . (2008). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.253060168

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • John Gerring. (2004). What is a case study and what is it good for. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4391DAED
  • Leavy, P. (2017). Research Design : Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Arts-Based, and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches. [N.p.]: The Guilford Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1497395
  • Pennings, P. (2006). Doing research in political science : [an introduction to comparative methods and statistics] / Paul Pennings; Hans Keman and Jan Kleinnijenhuis. London [u.a.]: Sage. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.120331470