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Class 3 - PLS 140 Class#3 Analytical Techniques in...

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PLS 140 Class #3 Analytical Techniques in Comparative Politics I. Key Tasks a. Define- putting a label on what things are. Ex: democracy through freedom house. b. Describe- making an observation and explaining the characteristics. c. Explain- Why or what causes things to occur. d. Predict e. Prescribe- Saying how things ought to be as opposed to how things are. II. Types of Questions a. Normative- normative questions are concerned with how we should use our knowledge (i.e. what ought to be). b. Empirical- empirical analysis is concerned with developing and using common, objective language to describe and explain political reality. - FORMS ODF EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS i. Quantitative- abased on statistical comparisons of characteristics of the cases that are being studied. Putting numbers on values of a variable. E.g. countries are not just democratic OR authoritarian but there can be degrees in levels of democratization expressed numerically. Freedom House. ii. Qualitative- based on the researcher’s informed understanding and interpretation of the cases that are being studied. I.e. schooling, completing 10 th grade does not = completing 12 th grade. - COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS i. Case Study- often focused on particular event or issue (Ex: Why are the Chechens seeking separation from Russia, and why doesn’t Russia grant separation?) ii. Comparative Method- usually small number of classes, sometimes qualitative and some are qualitative (Ex: Why are some regions and minorities in Russia seeking separation while others are not? Look at a few carefully selected cases.) iii. Statistical Analysis- usually many cases, always quantitative and often “multivariate” (Ex: what factors that give rise to ethnic separations, in Russia.)
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III. Case Study a. Pros- -Depth of analysis (history, context) - Feasibility b. Cons- - Lack of rigor -Generally not appropriate to test hypotheses - Often not comparative. IV. Comparative Method a. Pros- Holistic (compare but know countries indepth) b. Cons- limited variation, often deterministic, not probabilistic V. Statistical Analysis- b. Pros- Rigorous, can lead to conclustions about causality - Can lead to probabilistic conclusions c. Cons- Less depth - Precision of measures VI. Research Process a. Theory b. Operationalization of variable (ex: interest in democracy as far as societies) c. Select research technique d. Observe Behavior, collect data e. Analyze Data f. Interpret Results VII. Variables a. A variable is something we can observe that can have more than one value b. Types of variables:
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- Independent Variables- variables that are thought to change the values of another variable - Dependant-change in response to other variables. Their variables DEPEND on other variables VIII. Correlation Vs. Causation a. Correlation- when two or more variables change together.
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