Quantitative Methods Component in Core Papers Comparative Politics (201), International Relations (214) & Political Sociology (220)
The study of politics requires assessing claims about the relationships among political actors, political institutions, and societaloutcomes. This course will help students critically assess claims made in academic literature and build the skills necessary toanalyse these relationships themselves.
The course is designed as a complement to three core papers in Politics: Comparative Government (201), InternationalRelations (214), and Political Sociology (220). Each of these papers asks students to critically evaluate empirical evidence; forexample, recent exams have asked students to assess the effects of federalism (CG), the mass media (PS), and globalization (IR). Our main goal is to give students the tools to engage critically with the evidence they encounter in their core papers in Politics, which will help them make better assessments of quantitative evidence both in exam questions like these and in amuch broader set of circumstances after their degree is completed.
Students may choose between two forms of assessment. In either case, the assignment should be submitted via Weblearn bynoon on Friday of Week 2 of Hilary Term.
Option 1: Take-home exam
The take-home exam consists of specific questions about the content taught in the lab sessions. For example, students may begiven a dataset and asked to run some analysis and interpret the results. The take-home exam will be distributed in Week 8 ofMichaelmas Term.
Option 2: Essay based on data analysis
Students pursuing this option will write an essay of no more than 2,000 words in which they report the results of original dataanalysis. This option is designed to allow students the freedom to pursue a topic or question that they find interesting, with thepossibility that their analysis could be the first stage of a dissertation project. In general these essays should go well beyond what we do in the lab worksheets by using different data or additional methods or both. In previous years, a small minority ofstudents chose this option.