Political scientists are increasingly interested in the geographic distribution of political and economic phenomena. In fact, geography shapes many processes that are of primary importance to political scientists: economic development, ethnic conflict, the incidence of distributive policies, social protests, and voters' preferences. Moreover, the influence of geography also seems to be strongly conditioned by the spatial distribution of political preferences and institutions.
A key to incorporating geography into social science research is understanding the theoretical concepts and challenges underpinning geospatial data use. Thus, the primary goals of this course are to give students a working familiarity with the most current research that views geography as an essential channel driving political and economic outcomes and introduce a basic toolbox to enable students to apply geographic concepts to their research.
The course will proceed in four steps. First, the class will begin with a debate over conceptualizing geography as a measurement, theoretically and operationally. We will then move to examine geography as a dependent and independent variable. In the last section of the course, the students will learn to incorporate spatial methods into research design. Classes will follow a "workshop" style, combining lecture and hands-on programming sessions.
For more information, please see: Political_Geography__2021-1.pdf