Political Science 500
Political Research Design and Analysis
Instructor: Christopher Sebastian Parker
Office: 112 Gowen Hall
Office Hours: By Appt.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the philosophical underpinnings and techniques that are prevalent in the discipline. The course opens with readings in the philosophy of science, texts that introduce the student on how to identify theories, after which s/he becomes acquainted with hypothesis testing. The balance of the course centers upon research design, the collection and analysis of data, and the associated logic. Pedagogically, the course adopts a positivist perspective, but will occasionally reference interpretive approaches. While the course favors more quantitative methods, it does cover qualitative approaches as well. In the concluding two weeks of the class, students will focus upon the methods and skills necessary for preliminary quantitative analysis.
Weekly reaction papers are required, all of which must respond to prompts from the instructor. This will constitute 70% of the final grade. Class participation will count for 30% of the grade. For the “hands on” part of the course, where students are required to analyze data, the instructor will supply the data. Alternatively, students can use their own data, with the approval of the instructor.
Achen, Christopher H. 1982. Interpreting and Using Regression.
Brady, H., and D. Collier. 2004. Rethinking Social Inquiry.
Hempel, Carl G. 1966. Philosophy of Natural Science.
King, G., R.O. Keohane, and S. Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry.
Kuhn, Thomas S. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Lewis-Beck, Michael. 1995. Data Analysis.
* Denotes readings posted on Canvas
October 1: Introduction
October 8: Philosophical Foundations of Research Design
Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Lakatos, Falsification and Methodology of Scientific Research Programs*
October 15: Formulating Theories and Hypotheses
Hempel, Philosophy of Natural Science
Friedman, Essays in Positive Economics*
October 22: Empirical Examples
Edelstein, Occupational Hazards*
Fearon and Laitin, Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War*
Gibson and Caldeira, The Etiology of Public Support for the Supreme Court*
Miller and Stokes, Constituency Influence in Congress*
Walter, The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement*
White, When Race Matters and When it Doesn’t*
Valentino et al., Cues that Matter*
October 29: Research Design
King et al., Designing Social Inquiry
Brady and Collier, Rethinking Social Inquiry (Ch. 1-3, 5, 7-8).
November 5: Inference in Experimental and Non-experimental Settings
Cook and Campbell, Quasi Experimentation, pp. 1-9, 37-44, 50-85*
Iyengar and Kinder, News that Matters*
Blalock, Causal Inferences in Non-experimental Research*
November 12: Measurement, Coding, and Data Collection
Bartels, Messages Received*
Bollen, Issues in the Comparative Measurement of Political Democracy*
Hall, Measuring Legislative Influence*
Weatherford, Measuring Political Legitimacy*
November 19: Lab
November 26: Thanksgiving, No class
December 3: Inference, Contingency Tables
Campbell et al., The American Voter*
Matthews and Prothro, Negroes and the New Southern Politics*
Rosenberg, The Logic of Survey Analysis*
Lewis-Beck, Data Analysis
December 10: Regression
Holland, Statistics and Causal Inference*
Achen, Interpreting and Using Regression