Lecture%201%20Jan%205%20POLI%20243 - fight a war against...

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[email protected] office hours fri 11:30-1:30 office, LEA 330 1/5/11 THEORY o Relate cause and effect o When you make a certain policy, you want a certain result o If you know the cause, you can prevent or stimulate a certain result/outcome o Probabilistic statement If X, then 75% chance of Y happening o Dependent and independent variables The variations (dependent variables) depends on what’s happening with the other variables The qualities of a theory o Accuracy o Parsimony or leverage How simple a theory is How much info do you need to make the theory work? Theories that give accurate answers require a lot of info Sometimes policy makers do not have a lot of info so a theory isn’t so useful o Generalizability How widely can you apply this theory? Ex. Democratic peace—2 democracies will not
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Unformatted text preview: fight a war against each others; they will have disputes but will refrain from using force to settle these disputes Problem • Democracies are common now but they weren’t back then o Tradeoff: To gain accuracy, you lose parsimony. You need more info and the theory is more complex If a theory is more generalizeable, it loses accuracy • Tasks of a theory o What do we ask our theories to do for us? o Description We ask our theories to describe something that’s happened We look for the causal mechanisms and the political outcomes o Prediction Can only make predictions if you have a theory We want to shape/influence the future o Provide normative goals...
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2011 for the course POLI 243 taught by Professor Markbrawley during the Spring '09 term at McGill.

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Lecture%201%20Jan%205%20POLI%20243 - fight a war against...

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