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Магистерская программа «Сравнительная политика Евразии»

Methodology and Research Methods of Political Science

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


Потапова Елизавета Павловна

Course Syllabus


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.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To assist the students to get the feeling of approaches and tools they might use in their own research
  • To picture 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
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • 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
  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks
  • 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
  • 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)
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • What is social science? Criteria of scientific knowledge in social studies. Induction. Deduction. Hermeneutics. Phenomenology.
  • Review of political research epistemological foundation
  • The major traditions of research (I) Positivism. Causal thinking. Rational choice. Social choice.
  • The major traditions of research (II) Interpretivism. Abductive reasoning. Sense-making.
  • Comparative research
  • What is a good case study?
  • Approaching text. Types of content analysis. Implications of qualitative and quantitative text analysis
  • Analyzing discourse. How do we approach discourse as a unit of analysis? Different traditions of discourse analysis.
  • Do we need to be more sensitive? Activist perspective in research
  • How to make research practical? Social research implications in policy making.
  • Does geography matter? Academic imperialism. Decolonization of literature. Speaking from the margins.
  • Conducting fieldwork. Finding balance between observation and participation
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Final Paper: book review/methodological essay
    For a final paper, students can choose one of the following options: • Book review The task is to read a recent book in political science or International Relations and comment on its research framework and methods. The paper should both: provide an analysis of book’s research objectives and methods and present student’s reflections on the connections between the two. The book choice needs to be coordinated with instructor 2 weeks before presentation. • An essay The task is to choose a research problem (can be one from thesis proposal, but not necessarily) and to write an essay that will discuss how it can be addressed from the standpoints of different paradigms, what different methodological approaches and tools can be used to address it. In fact what will be assessed is student’s capability to think outside the box and comfortably use the whole spectrum of methodologically diverse tools.
  • non-blocking In-class Participation
    Assessment will be based on attendance, demonstration of familiarity with the readings, participation in class discussion with the focus on qualitative contribution to the discussion, ability to answer questions based on the readings, come up with own interpretations and react to comments made by other students
  • non-blocking Home assignment for the seminar
    At the end of each module, you will get an assignment for an in-class activity. Those will be small-scale research projects conducted in groups.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 1st module
    0.35 * In-class Participation + 0.65 * Home assignment for the seminar


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Halperin, S. (DE-588)171616154, (DE-627)061837849, (DE-576)177909633, aut. (2012). Political research methods and practical skills Sandra Halperin and Oliver Heath.
  • McDermott, R. (2002). Experimental Methodology in Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/pan/10.4.325
  • Outhwaite, W., & Turner, S. P. (2007). The SAGE Handbook of Social Science Methodology. SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Schram, S., & Caterino, B. (2006). Making Political Science Matter : Debating Knowledge, Research, and Method. New York: NYU Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=200938

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • 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
  • Heck, R. H. (2004). Studying Educational and Social Policy : Theoretical Concepts and Research Methods. Mahwah, N.J.: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=113815
  • 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