Spring17 - Political Science 202.docx

Spring17 - Political Science 202.docx - Political Science...

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Political Science 202 Introduction to Political Analysis Spring 2017 Tuesday/Thursday 3:30 – 4:25 pm Hall of Languages 207 Class Instructor Dr. Christopher Faricy Assistant Professor of Political Science [email protected] 316 Eggers Hall Office Hours: Thursday 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. or by appointment Teaching Assistants (alphabetical order) Tae Hyun Lim [email protected] Dongshu Liu – [email protected] Sections: 102 (10:35-11:30) and 104 (12:45-1:40) Raza Raja – [email protected] Sections: 101 (10:35-11:30) and 103 (12:45-1:40) “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” – Benjamin Disraeli “In God We Trust. All Others, Bring Data” – W.E. Deming Course Philosophy This course adds tremendous value to your political science major or minor. It is designed to have you learn and practice a discrete set of skills that can be applied widely both inside and outside of political science. While politics is not science, you will learn how the scientific method can be applied to the study of politics. The course is designed first to help you learn how to analyze information. The frenetic advancement of technology has produced an expansion of information and data about the political world. This course will help you consume logical arguments, data, and statistics. How do you evaluate a theory? a hypothesis? a claim about an observable relationship between X and Y? How do you know when someone is lying with statistics? You will be a better critic of other people’s work especially work that uses basic statistics. You should also leave this course thinking more systematically and critically about the truth claims made by the media, policymakers, and professors. Next, this course will help you learn critical empirical methods for conducting your own research. The first part of the course will examine the logic behind conceptualizing and analyzing ideas. Ideas about politics are often abstract such as democracy, power, and values. This course will help you evaluate these concepts with more precision. This course will also help you develop and test your own ideas. This includes recognizing the steps to creating sound theories and testable hypotheses. You will also learn the comparative method and become familiar with case studies. Finally, you will learn basic statistical analysis. Statistics provide strategies and tools for using data to gain insight into real problems. This class will help you become a better political science student and a democratic citizen. 1
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Course Objectives (1) The primary purpose of this course is to prepare students, especially political science majors and minors, to read and understand original research in political science, especially quantitative research. (2) The course will also increase students’ understanding of the following topics: concepts, variables, and hypotheses; literature reviews and research design strategies; quantitative analysis of data; and making effective arguments.
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