Methods and Scope of Political Analysis (POLS 529)

2020 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
Mert Moral,
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Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture,Seminar,Recitation,Laboratory
Communicative,Discussion based learning,Project based learning,Task based learning
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This course provides an introduction to philosophy of social sciences, various methodological approaches in political science and research methods and analysis. Components of research design, measurement, validity, data collection strategies and logic of inference are discussed. Various research design examples are provided from the recent political science literature and students are exposed to research process, article evaluation and thesis proposal writing. It also aims to expose students to ethical considerations in research and publishing.


There are a myriad of ways to obtain scientific knowledge about social and political phenomena that political scientists are interested in better understanding and explaining. The main goal of this course is not to provide you with all such tools at political scientists' disposal, but with a survey of those, and necessary knowledge and basic skills to understand, evaluate, and conduct scientific research. Having been introduced to \qualitative and quantitative reasoning, and political science methodology will help you develop the required skillset to critically and constructively evaluate other scholarly research as well as a sense of what your future research agenda, including but not limited to your M.A. thesis/Ph.D. dissertation, should look like.

Since research design constitutes the ``nuts and bolts'' of scientific research and, as political scientists, we should all be able to communicate ``what we think we know'' to our audience, this course will focus extensively on research design and communicating ``how we came to know what we think we know.'' Following a general introduction to epistemology of science in the first part, you will therefore spend the second part of the semester thinking about how to approach puzzling social and political phenomena, conceptualize and operationalize various factors (that may or may not be) influencing them, design appropriate theoretical and empirical models, and communicate those to your audience (and write) effectively.


By the end of this semester, students will be not only introduced to research design, measurement, and causal inference as the three major topics in political methodology, but also able to evaluate scholarly research and design your own independent research.


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 5

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 5

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 5

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 4

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 4

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 5

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 3

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 5

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 3

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 5

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 5

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 3

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 5

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 3

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 4

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 4

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 2

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 5

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach. 1

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations. 4

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data. 4

1. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 5

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 3

3. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5

1. Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 4

1. Have knowledge of a comprehensive and integrated picture of contemporary Turkey, including all its promise and problems.

2. Have knowledge of an up-to-date grasp of the overall shape and basic outlines of the country?s history; the complexity of the multiple and often contradictory strands of its culture; the fundamental structures and emerging dynamics of its economy; and the basic setting, enduring legacies as well as shifting realignments of its politics.

3. Have a sensitive appreciation of the possible paths and choices it faces early in the 21st century.

4. Able to Respond to the international demand for knowledge about the history, culture, languages, politics and economy of Turkey.

5. Able to Independently formulate critical research questions, and pursue them into a deepening knowledge of the subject.

1. Analyze current and persistent conflict situations with an emphasis on perceptual and cultural aspects of social conflicts. 2

2. Conduct research in sources of conflicts and possible conflict resolution methods such as negotiation, third-party intervention, cooperative decision making, peace building, track-two and citizens? diplomacy applied to various social contexts. 4

3. Design and implement conflict resolution process to policy issues related to disputes in or among identity groups, governments, organizations, civil society or corporations. 1

4. Develop and sustain arguments in a variety of forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence. 5

1. Analyze historical and contemporary developments in Europe, specifically of the European integration process, from a multi-disciplinary perspective. 4

2. Grasp the main dynamics of the European order, politically, historically and economically. 1

3. Explain the European integration process and the EU?s decision-making procedures and it?s institutions. 4

1. Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics. 1

2. Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate. 1

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools. 1

4. Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome. 1


  Percentage (%)
Final 25
Assignment 35
Participation 10
Individual Project 20
Presentation 10



* Acock, Alan C. 2018. A Gentle Introduction to Stata. 6th Edition. College Station, TX:
Stata Press.
* Kellstedt, Paul M. and Guy D. Whitten. 2018. The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. 3rd Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.
* King, Gary, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
* Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. 2019 Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. 7th Edition. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.


* See the official syllabus uploaded to the course page on SU Course for the assigned journal articles.