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   Course Title    Methodology of Political Analysis
Lecturer    Petru Vīrga
Institution    West University of Timisoara
Country    Romania


Aim of the course

Methodology of Political Analysis is intended to provide students with the essential concepts for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of political phenomena.

The goal of the course is to provide students with sufficient training to be competent consumers of statistical/empirical analyses. The course also provides a foundation for further work for those students who wish to become producers of research employing qualitative and quantitative techniques.

This course is addressed to first year students in Political Sciences. By the end of the year, a student should be able to:

  • understand the methodological base for political analysis and research
  • shape the research issue in a good way
  • choose the most appropriate design and method for analysis
  • link methodological issues with statistical analysis
  • write client oriented reports

Requirements

  • attendance
  • active participation in class.

Methods used

  • small group activities
  • in-class discussions
  • debates
  • presentations

Assignments

1st Semester – students have to prepare a methodological essay

oral exam

2nd Semester –students have to design a research project

written exam

Readings

Mandatory readings

  • Petru Ilut (1997), Abordarea calitativa a socio-umanului, Polirom, Iasi
  • Herman J. Ader & Gideon J. Mellenbergh (1999), Research methodology in the Social, Behavioural & Life Sciences, Sage Publications -excerpts-
  • David Silverman, (1999), Qualitative Research, Sage Publications -excerpts-
  • Abbas Tashakkori & Charles Teddile (1996), Mixed Methdology, Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, Sage Publications -excerpts-

All excerpts are provided in Petru Vīrga, "Methodology of political analysis - texts collection"

Recommended readings:

- any book in the field of research methodology in social and behavioral sciences

Methodology of Political Analysis - Course content

First semester

2 hours - course/week, 2 hours - seminar/week

Week

Course Theme

# hours

1

Icebreaking

2

2

Theoretical basis of political analysis

2

3

2

4

Alternative approaches of political objects

2

5

Quantitative approach vs Qualitative approach

2

6

Essay writing presentation

2

7

Mixed solutions

2

8

Basic concepts in political research and analysis - objects

2

9

Basic concepts in political research and analysis - organizations

2

10

Basic concepts in political research and analysis - methods

2

11

Data and information - data vs. information and research solutions

2

12

Causation and contingency

2

13

Internal validity and construct validity of political analysis (definitions, relevance)

2

14

Evaluation of the semester and exam preparation

2

 

Total

28

 

Second semester

2 hours - course/week, 2 hours - seminar/week

Week

Course Theme

# hours

1

First semester themes review

2

2

Quantitative approach: assumptions, hypotheses, designs, outcome

2

3

2

4

Qualitative research: assumptions, hypotheses, designs, outcome

2

5

2

6

Report writing presentation

2

7

Mixed methodology - how to combine quantitative and qualitative approach

2

8

2

9

The role of statistics in research

2

10

Using data to get information

2

11

Using information to get solutions

2

12

Biases in research - definitions, types, effects

2

13

Client oriented reports

2

14

End of the course and exam preparation; student evaluation

2

 

Total

28



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