POLS 120 Lecture 7: Test 1 Review

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12 Mar 2018
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19-02-2018
1
NOTE TAKER: Anuja Veeraghanta
CLASS/SECTION: POLS120, Section 1, MW 11:30AM
TEST 1 REVIEW February 19, 2018
Review of Textbook Chapters
Fundamentals
o Chapter 1 and 2 Review
o Heood ad letue otes o What is Politis?
States and Nations
o Chapters 3 and 13
Political Economy
o Chapter 4 and Garland
Constitutions, Constitutional Courts, Judicial Review
o Chapter 8 and Landsberg-Rodriguez
Ideologies
o Heywood, Berman
Asking why: Research Questions in Comparative Politics
Major questions in comparative politics
o Scholars in comparative politics have been very interested in examining a number of big
questions.
Noatie appoahes seek to defie a good o just politial sste i tes of ho it ought to
e.
Empirical Arguments vs. Normative Arguments
o It is important for students and scholars to remember that while political scientists can
be engaged in research for normative reasons, comparative politics is an empirical
science and not engaged in making normative value judgments.
Concepts
Features of Good Concepts
o Clear, coherent, and useful
o They allow us to capture meaningful variation that we can try to explain (or that allows
us to explain some other variation)
Conceptualization
o A critical, deliberative process in which concepts are constructed.
o Most concepts in social science are developed by the social scientists and not simply
induced from observation.
Operationalizing: From Concepts to Measures
o To conduct research, we need to find measures of the things we are conceptualizing.
o We want these measures to be both valid and reliable.
Valid: they should actually measure what we are interested in.
Reliable: they should measure it in such a way that if other people used our
instrument, they would measure observed phenomena similarly.
Empirical Evidence
Facts and Evidence
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19-02-2018
2
o Facts are cheap but evidence (facts that can be used to support or falsify a hypothesis) is
valuable.
o A case study looks at a single country, event, organization, etc. to generate broader
empirically testable hypotheses.
o Cases might be countries, parties, groups, individuals, instances of revolution, and so
forth.
The Comparative Method
Variables and Comparison
o When we compare two or more cases, we do so in terms of variables.
The Most-Similar-Systems Design
o Involves analyzing cases that are similar in many ways but with different outcomes.
The Most-Different-Systems Design
o Involves analyzing cases that are different in numerous ways but that tend to have
similar outcomes.
Comparative Checking
o Sometimes we bring in additional cases that allow us to further test our hypotheses, in a
poess ko as opaatie hekig.
Within-Case Comparison
o “oeties e teat diffeet eleets o ties i the sae ase as diffeet ases.
For example, we might compare French nationalism in the 1960s to French
atioalis i the 99s. Whe e do so, this is alled ithi-case
opaiso.
Theories and Evidence
Theories
o The nature of scientific theories, are general explanations of empirical phenomena that
have received some research support/
o Theories are both general explanations and the source of hypotheses about discrete
issues.
o A study adds to or demolishes a theory.
o Theoretical contributions should be original but also based on reading and
understanding the established literature in a given area of research.
o I othe ods, oigialit does ot ea eietig the heel, ut odifig
existing findings in ways that allow us to account for more phenomena.
Hypothesis Testing
Hypotheses
o Specific, testable claims derived from theories.
o Central to any scientific process, including comparative politics.
Correlation
o The pairing of two variables (or more) such that, as one moves, so does the other.
o Coelatio does ot deostate ausatio aoid post ho ego popte ho
o Spurious relationships: relationships that look like they are correlated, but it is unlikely
(ex. murder rate and ice cream sales)
Causation
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