Syllabus for Methods I

Metod I

Syllabus

  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FK053
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Peace and Conflict Studies A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2016-06-02
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-05-09
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 27, 2019
  • Entry requirements: Bachelor of Arts degree with at least 90 credits in peace and conflict studies, or 90 credits in a related relevant discipline and at least 30 credits in major subject or equivalent experience.
  • Responsible department: Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Learning outcomes

After completion of this course the student is expected to be able to:

  • evaluate the scientific relevance and quality of theoretically driven empirical research
  • formulate a research question and relate it to existing scholarly knowledge
  • assess the components and virtue of theoretical arguments
  • apply some of the common techniques for selecting cases and collecting data
  • critically assess the relevance of the data collected
  • identify how to achieve descriptive and causal inference
  • identify and assess the ethical problems associated with peace and conflict research and be able to minimise such problems
  • assess the relevance of using scientific methods outside the academic community, such as in conducting and interpreting policy evaluations and reports
  • independently solve assignments within allocated time

Content

The course aims to deepen the knowledge of social science methodology that students have acquired during undergraduate studies. The aim is to develop the ability to use the methods of practical research and to sharpen the critical understanding of different methods' advantages and disadvantages.

The course emphasises the common principles that unite the intensive study of few cases and the extensive study of many cases, but also highlights relevant differences between these approaches in terms of inferential logic and techniques for selecting cases and analysing data.

The course discusses all central steps of the research process steps and the critical choices that a researcher is faced, such as: How do we formulate a fruitful research question? What criteria can be imposed on a good scientific theory? How do we empirically assess a scientific theory? How should the observed data be interpreted? Central topics covered in the course include the scientific approach, research design, inference, research ethics, and comparative case studies.

Instruction

The course consists of lectures and mandatory seminars. The literature combines generic methods texts with applications from the field of peace and conflict research.

Assessment

The course concludes with a written exam. The written exam is intended to provide a basis for grading the students but also offer students an opportunity to repeat the course content and thereby consolidate their knowledge.

Grades: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U).

In order to receive the grade Pass (G), the student is required to:

  • participate in all mandatory seminars and present a genuine attempt to solve all assignments before each seminar. Should a student fail to hand in a seminar assignment on time and/or be absent from a seminar, he/she will need to complete a replacement assignment in addition to the original assignment.
  • receive a grade of Pass the written exam
In order to receive the grade Pass with distinction (VG), the student is required to:
  • participate in all mandatory seminars and present a genuine attempt to solve all assignments before each seminar. Should a student fail to hand in a seminar assignment on time and/or be absent from a seminar, he/she will need to complete a replacement assignment in addition to the original assignment
  • receive a Pass with distinction (VG) on the written exam.
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 25, 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Kellstedt, Paul M.; Whitten, Guy D. The fundamentals of political science research

    2. ed.: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Powner, Leanne C. Empirical research and writing : a political science student's practical guide

    Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE, 2015

    Find in the library

    Mandatory

  • Anderson, Mary B. Do No Harm : How Aid Can Support Peace--Or War [Elektronisk resurs]

    uuuu-uuuu

    Chapters 1, 4, 5

    Find in the library

  • Beach, Derek; Pedersen, Rasmus Brun Process-tracing methods : foundations and guidelines

    Second Edition.: Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, [2019]

    Chapter 1, 2, 6, and 8

    Find in the library

  • Booth, Wayne C.; Colomb, Gregory G.; Williams, Joseph M. Craft of Research [Elektronisk resurs]

    University of Chicago Press, 2008

    Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6

    Find in the library

  • Dunning, Thad Natural experiments in the social sciences [Elektronisk resurs] : a design-based approach

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012

    Chapter 1

    Find in the library

  • Fowler, Floyd J. Survey research methods [Elektronisk resurs]

    4th ed.: Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE, cop. 2009.

    Chapters 1-2 and 5-7

    Find in the library

  • George, Alexander L.; Bennett, Andrew Case studies and theory development in the social sciences

    Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, cop. 2005

    p. 67-73

    Find in the library

  • Gerring, John Case study research [Elektronisk resurs] : principles and practices

    2006

    Chapter 1,2,3,4, and p.86-91; 115-122; 131-134; 139-150.

    Find in the library

  • Gerring, John Social science methodology : a unified framework

    2nd ed.: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012

    Chapter 1,2,3,5 and 8

    Find in the library

  • Gertler, Paul J. Impact Evaluation in Practice, Second Edition [electronic resource] [Elektronisk resurs]

    uuuu-uuuu

    Chapter 1 (and browse chapters 2, 3 and 13), chapters 2-17

    Find in the library

  • Höglund, Kristine; Öberg, Magnus Understanding peace research : methods and challenges

    London: Routledge, 2011

    Find in the library

  • Johnson, Janet Buttolph; Reynolds, H. T. Political science research methods

    7th ed.: Los Angeles: CQ Press, c2012.

    Chapters 5, 8, 9, 10

    Find in the library

  • King, Gary.; Keohane, Robert O.; Verba, Sidney. Designing social inquiry [Elektronisk resurs] : scientific inference in qualitative research

    Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1994.

    pp. 151-168

    Find in the library

  • Nygaard, Linn P. Writing for scholars : a practical guide to making sense and being heard

    Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2008

    pp 79-98

    Find in the library

  • Huberman, A. Michael; Miles, Matthew B. The qualitative researcher's companion

    Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, cop. 2002

    pp. 37-61

    Find in the library

  • Luigi Curini, ; Robert Franzese, The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations [Elektronisk resurs]

    SAGE Publications, 2020

    Chiara Ruffa, 2020, “Case study methods"

    Find in the library