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Political Science 30 Political Inquiry. Lecture Outline Three broad themes for the course Three running examples Course logistics.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Science 30 Political Inquiry. Lecture Outline Three broad themes for the course Three running examples Course logistics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Science 30 Political Inquiry

2 Lecture Outline Three broad themes for the course Three running examples Course logistics

3 Three Course Themes (first theme) Using research methods is the second half of political science; developing causal theories is the first half. “Theoretical” work – proposes theories about how the political world works and states testable hypotheses. vs. “Empirical” work – tests these hypotheses by using quantitative and qualitative research methods.

4 Three Course Themes (second theme) One goal unites all of the methods we will study: isolating the effect of a single causal factor. In the complex political world, most theories posit that there are multiple causes of a given event. Experimental, quantitative, and qualitative research methods all seek to keep the influence of each causal factor separate.

5 Three Course Themes (third theme) There may be lies, damned lies, and statistics, but at least statistics are transparent. Over 100 years of traditions that guide researchers about what to do and report. Thought Experiment: If someone discovered a new planet, what would you want them to bring back? Stories, a journal, a handful of interviews, or data?

6 Three Running Examples (first example: voter turnout) What accounts for the modern decline in turnout in U.S. Presidential elections?

7 Three Running Examples (first example: voter turnout) What accounts for the modern decline in turnout in U.S. Presidential elections?

8 Three Running Examples (second example: campaign finance) How does money alter the actions of legislators and the course of elections?

9 Three Running Examples (third example: civil wars) Are poor nations more likely to experience civil war? A quantitative study can look at the correlation between per capita income and the incidence of civil war. A qualitative study can compare a few countries in a systematic way in order to trace the relationship between poverty and conflict.

10 Course Logistics Lectures Mondays and Wednesdays ONLY! podcast.ucsd.edu Weekly sections, attendance is MANDATORY. Introduce teaching assistants My office hours, Wednesdays, 9am-11am.

11 Course Logistics Policies: grade changes, extensions. Readings: Pollock, SPSS*, online reader Requirements. 40% Four Homework Projects 30% Final Exam (March 14, 11:30am) 20% Midterm Exam (February 7) 10% Section Attendance and Participation


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