Pol 51 lecture 2

Pol 51 lecture 2 - History focuses on the specific events...

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Pol 51, Lecture 2 Theories are stories about how the world works, it’s a TENTATIVE statement, it’s subject to change, an ongoing suggestion. But where to ideas from theories come from? As you read other people’s theories, you come up with theories that fill up the gaps in their theories. Take something specific and move it to the general area. See interesting differences in dependent variables. Learn from previous research. If you don’t reference other peoples ‘works, you have to defend every aspect of your theory. People will question the crap out of it. “Don’t run around with a hammer looking for a nail. You might encounter a screw.” Look for something to explain, not an explanation looking to be explained.
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Unformatted text preview: History focuses on the specific events. The story about what happened. Ex: French Revolution Political scientists, by contrast, emphasize general phenomena that could occur again. Can you drop the proper nouns and dates? Ex: what cause WWI? Why do nations go to war? Is 9-11 unique and will it stay unique, or will something similar happen again? We’re probably not the first to investigate this phenomenon. • What other causes of dependent variables did previous researcher’s miss? • Can this theory be applied elsewhere? • How does this theory work on diff levels of aggregation (micro <-> macro) o Each country has a “personality” our group decisions show how the country may take action...
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This note was uploaded on 08/30/2011 for the course POL 51 taught by Professor Ryan,john during the Summer '08 term at UC Davis.

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