This course is intended for bachelor level students and serves as an introduction to concepts and theories employed in the comparative study of political parties and electoral competition. Over the 13 weeks of this course, we will engage in the theoretical discussions about how parties strategically choose among policy appeals (positions, emphasis and competence) and how that will likely impact their electoral payoffs.
The course is also designed to help you practice you English academic writing and become more familiar with the initial stages of research e.g. reading for new ideas, reviewing literature, synthesizing arguments, and coming up with interesting research questions. For this purpose we will have two pop-up workshops organized by the center for teaching and learning.
This course provides an introduction to theoretical and empirical concepts of comparative politics.
We will cover the following topics:
The course deals with the development of a research design. For this purpose all key concepts and steps of the research design are discussed: formulation of a research question, literature review, theory, hypothesis definition and testing, concept definitions and operationalization, case selection and empirical verification.
Some of the questions that will be discussed include the following: How do I find a research question? How to formulate a research question? What elements should a quantitative research design include? How can a research question be adequately justified theoretically? The seminar also discusses statistical methods that are useful for answering the research question and to verify the hypotheses formulated. The empirical analyses are carried out using R, a free statistical program available for download.