Designing Political Enquiry

As taught Spring Semester 2011

Dr Gulshan Kahn, School of Politics and International Relations

This resource presents the module handbook for the Designing Political Enquiry module.

Overview of Module:

The module is designed to allow students to develop a critical understanding of the methodological issues involved in designing and undertaking research in the discipline of politics and international relations and to strengthen their ability to read and evaluate political science literature more generally. The first part of the module focuses on issues of research design. It exposes students to a broad range of methodological issues involved in designing, conducting and writing up research based on a relative small number of cases in areas of comparative politics, international relations, political theory and public policy. Topics that are addressed in the module include issues involved in developing a research question, problems of conceptualisation, measurement, and strategies and approaches to causal theorising in small N research. The second part of the module addresses various methods of generating and processing data for research in politics. Methods that are covered include the use of documentary sources, textual analysis observation and ethnographic research, and various forms of interviewing. Throughout the module you will be developing a feasible research proposal. This requires reading and summarising a minimum of two articles/book chapters per week on a topic of your choice. This will be used to inform your dissertation proposal.

Module Codes: M14320 (20 credits), M14321 (15 credits)

Suitable for study at: Postgraduate Level

Method and Frequency of Class: 1 x 2 hour seminar per week

Target Students: Available to JYA/Erasmus students. There is a limited number of places on this module. Students are reminded that enrolments which are not agreed by the Offering School in advance may be cancelled without notice.

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Offering School: Politics and International Relations