Readings

[S] = Shively, W. Phillips. The Craft of Political Research. 6th edition. Routledge, 2004. ISBN: 9780131174405.

WEEK # TOPICS READINGS
Section I: Method, Causal Inference, and Research Design
1 The Scientific Method as Applied to Political Outcomes No readings assigned 
2 Theory and Method in Political Science

[S] Chapter 1: Doing Research, pp. 1–4.

[S] Chapter 2: Political Theories and Research Topics, pp. 14–27.

[S] Chapter 6: Causal Thinking and Design of Research, pp. 75–95.

[S] Chapter 11: Where Do Theories Come From?

Kellstedt, Paul M., and Guy D. Whitten. “Evaluating Causal Relationships.” Chapter 3 in The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. Cambridge University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780521697880. [Preview with Google Books]

Freedman, David A.  “On Types of Scientific Inquiry: The Role of Qualitative Reasoning.” Chapter 12 in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. Edited by Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Henry E. Brady, and David Collier. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780199585564.

Gerring, John. “Methods.” Chapter 9 in Social Science Methodology: A Criterial Framework. Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780521805131.

3 Experimental Work and Its Challenges

McDermott, Rose. “Experimental Methods in Political Science.” (PDF) Annual Review of Political Science 5, no. 1 (2002): 31–61.

Dunning, Thad. “Standard Natural Experiments.” Chapter 2 in Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences: A Design-Based Approach. Cambridge University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9781107698000. 

Falk, Armin, and James J. Heckman. “Lab Experiments Are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences.” (PDF) Discussion Paper Series. IZA DP No. 4540. October 2009.

Barabas, Jason, and Jennifer Jerit. “Are Survey Experiments Externally Valid?” (PDF) American Political Science Review 104, no. 02 (2010): 226–42.

4 Observational Data and Its Challenges

[S] Chapter 4: Problems of Measurement: Accuracy. 

[S] Chapter 5: Problems of Measurement: Precision.

[S] Chapter 7: Selection of Observations for Study.

[S] Introduction to Statistics: Measuring Relationships for Interval Data.

[S] Pp. 146.

Fearon, James D., and David D. Laitin. “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War.” (PDF - 8.4MB) American Political Science Review 97, no. 1 (2003): 75–90.

Brady, Henry E. “Data-Set Observations versus Causal-Process Observations: The 2000 U.S. Presidential Election.” Chapter 12 in Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. 2nd edition. Edited by Henry E. Brady and David Collier. Rowman and Littlefield, 2010. ISBN: 9781442203440.

5 Cases Selection and Its Challenges

Geddes, Barbara. “How the Cases You Choose Affect the Answers You Get: Selection in Comparative Politics.” (PDF) Political Analysis 2 (1990): 131–50.

Pape, Robert A. “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.” (PDF - 1.7MB) American Political Science Review 97, no. 3 (2003): 343–61.

Ashworth, Scott, Joshua D. Clinton, Adam Meirowitz, et al. “Design, Inference, and the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.” American Political Science Review 102, no. 2 (2008): 269–73.

Axelrod, Robert. “The Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench Warfare in World War I”. Chapter 4 in The Evolution of Cooperation. Basic Books, 2006. ISBN: 9780465005642.

Lawson, J. Chappell. “Theses I Wish Someone Would Write (PDF).” 

6 Evaluating Individual Studies

Todorov, Alexander, Anesu N. Mandisodza, Amir Goren, et al.  “Inferences of Competence from Faces Predict Election Outcomes.” Science 308, no. 5728 (2005): 1623–26.

Fryer, Jr., Roland G. “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force.”  2016.

Spend at least one hour consulting cases of police use of force (as one example: “Fatal Force: 987 People Have Been Shot and Killed by Police in 2017,” Washington Post.), or reading of “de-escalation” and use of force training at a local police department.

7 Evaluating a (Small) Body of Work: The Effects of Candidate Appearance

Antonakis, John, and Olaf Dalgas.“Predicting Elections: Child’s Play!Science 323, no. 5918 (2009): 1183.

Enos, Ryan. “Monkey Cage: No, Good Looks Don’t Win Elections," Washington Post, November 13, 2013.

Poutvaara, Panu. “How Do Candidates’ Looks Affect Their Election Chances?” IZA World of Labor, 2017.

Banducci, Susan A., Jeffrey A. Karp, Michael Thrasher, et al. “Ballot Photographs as Cues in Low-Information Elections.” Political Psychology 29, no. 6 (2008): 903–17.

Lenz, Gabriel S., and Chappell Lawson. “Looking the Part: Television Leads Less Informed Citizens to Vote Based on Candidates’ Appearance.” American Journal of Political Science 55, no. 3 (2011): 574–89.

Lawson, Chappell, Gabriel S. Lenz, Andy Baker,et al. “Looking Like a Winner: Candidate Appearance and Electoral Success in New Democracies.” World Politics 62, no. 4 (2010): 561–93.

Section II: Collecting Data
8 Conducting an Experiment (or Generating Quantitative Observational Data), Part I

Milgram, Stanley. “Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority.” (PDF - 2.6MB) Human Relations 18 (1965): 57–76. (skim)

Zimbardo, Phillip G. “The Mind is a Formidable Jailer: A Pirandellian Prison,” New York Times Magazine, April 8, 1973.

See also Zimbardo’s description of the Stanford Prison Experiment: A Simulation of the Psychology of Imprisonment. (skim)

9 Conducting an Experiment (or Generating Quantitative Observational Data), Part II No readings assigned
10 Conducting Field Research, Part I

Telma, Kate. “When Castes Collide: PhD student Matt Lowe Uses Cricket Tournaments to Explore Caste Interactions in Rural India and Whether the Popular Sport Can Help Bridge Class Divides”. MIT News. July 20, 2017.

Wood, Elisabeth Jean. “Field Research.” Chapter 5 in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. Edited by Carles Boix and Susan C. Stokes. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780199566020. 

Lawson, Chappell. “Can Field Work Be 'Scientific'? (PDF)” 

DeWalt, Kathleen M., and Billie R. Dewalt. “Doing Participation Observation: Becoming a Participant.” Chapter 3 in Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers. Alta Mira Press, 2001. ASIN: B01A65KPQC. [Preview with Google Books]

———. “Doing Participation Observation: Becoming an Observer.” Chapter 4 in Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers. 2nd edition. Alta Mira Press, 2001. ASIN: B01A65KPQC. 

11 Conducting Field Research, Part II: Interviews

Leech, Beth L. “Asking Questions: Techniques for Semistructured Interviews.” (PDF) PS: Political Science and Politics (2002): 665–68.

Lawson, Chappell. “Interview Guide (PDF).” 

12 Student Presentations of Experimental Findings No readings assigned
13 Using Archives, Libraries, and the Like

Consult the following resources on police shootings in the United States:

Tate, Julie, Jennifer Jenkins, Steven Rich, et al. “How The Washington Post is Examining Police Shootings in the United States," Washington Post, July 7, 2016. 

The Counted: People Killed by Police in the US,” The Guardian.

FBI logs on active shootings by police

Banks, Duren, PhD, Paul Ruddle, Erin Kennedy, et al."Arrest-Related Deaths Program Redesign Study, 2015-16: Preliminary Findings." Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs. (Make sure to look at copies of the actual Form CJ-11A and CJ-12A.)

National Violent Death Reporting System, Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

14 Picking Research Questions

[S] Chapter 2: Political Theories and Research Topics, pp. 27–31.

Lawson, Chappell. “Theses I Wish Someone Would Write (PDF).” 

Course Info

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