POLd0012 Political Research: Theories and Methods

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2025
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 20 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. Andrew Lawrence Roberts, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Peter Spáč, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Andrew Lawrence Roberts, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Mgr. Lucie Pospíšilová
Supplier department: Division of Politology – Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
! POL022 Political Research: Theories && ! NOW ( POL022 Political Research: Theories )
Only doctoral students may enroll.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 12 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The aim of this course is to acquaint students with research design and methodology in political science. The focus will be on both the basics of research design and more advanced techniques in qualitative and quantitative methods. We will emphasize practical issues more than theoretical ones in an effort to help students with their dissertation projects.
Learning outcomes
At the conclusion of this course, students will: - understand the basics of research design - be familiar with the main qualitative and quantitative methods for conducting research in political science - know the main advantages and disadvantages of these different methods - be able to construct and critique both qualitative and quantitative research designs
  • Research design basics: causality, pitfalls in showing causality, forwards and backwards causation, deterministic causation, regression, quantitative versus qualitative models More advanced qualitative techniques: process-tracing, structured focused comparison, qualitative comparative analysis, case studies, typologies, concepts, case selection More advanced quantitative techniques: regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, difference-in-difference, lab experiments and natural experiments, machine learning
Teaching methods
Reading Class discussion Homework assignments
Assessment methods
Students are required to attend three class meetings and complete three short exercise. Students should be prepared to discuss the required readings at these seminars. The first short exercise is a set of questions about your dissertation which will help me to see what sort of training would be helpful. The second paper is to complete one of the exercises in David Collier, “Teaching Process Training: Examples and Exercises” which is available at Collier’s website: http://polisci.berkeley.edu/people/person/david-collier. An alternative would be to complete several exercises connected with Goertz’s Social Science Concepts. The third exercise is to answer the questions at the end of chapter 2 and 3 in Dunning’s Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Autumn 2022, Spring 2023, Autumn 2023, Spring 2024, Autumn 2024.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2025, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/fss/spring2025/POLd0012