Introduction to Comparative Political Analysis
Periodo di svolgimento
Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"
Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"
Recommended for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"
Types of research and research questions
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
In the first session, we will outline the major strands and debates in empirical political research, presenting shared standards to tackle real-world problems through a comparative logic. Our discussion will centre on some key epistemological questions and explain the rationale of comparison in a broader perspective.
- King, G., R.O. Keohane & S. Verba (1994) Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton University Press, pp. 3-33 (Chapter 1)
- Brady, H.E., D. Collier & J. Seawright (2010) ‘Refocusing the discussion of methodology’. In: H.E. Brady, D. Collier & J. Seawright (eds.) Rethinking Social Inquiry (Second Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 15-31 (Chapter 1)
- Lijphart, A. (1971) ‘Comparative politics and the comparative method’. American Political Science Review, 65(3): 682-693
- Reif, K., & H. Schmitt (1980) ‘Nine second-order national elections: A conceptual framework for the analysis of European election results’. European Journal of Political Research, 8(1): 3-44
- H.E. Brady, J. Seawright & G.L. Munck (2010) ‘The quest for standards: King, Keohane, and Verba’s Designing Social Inquiry’. In: H.E. Brady, D. Collier & J. Seawright (eds.) Rethinking Social Inquiry (Second Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 33-63 (Chapter 2)
- Brannen, J. (2005) ‘Mixing methods: The entry of qualitative and quantitative approaches into the research process’. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(3): 173-184.
Theory, concepts, and operationalisation
Wednesday, 26 January 2022
In the second session, we will discuss the significance of a sound theoretical foundation for our enquiry as well as the process leading up to the translation of our concepts into empirical indicators.
- Sartori, G. (1970) ‘Concept misformation in comparative politics’. American Political Science Review, 64(4), 1033-1053
- Collier, D., & J.E. Mahon Jr (1993) ‘Conceptual “stretching” revisited: Adapting categories in comparative analysis’. American Political Science Review, 87(4): 845-855
- Collier, D., & S. Levitsky (1997) ‘Democracy with adjectives: Conceptual innovation in comparative research’. World Politics, 49(3): 430-451
- Harmel, R., & K. Janda (1994) ‘An integrated theory of party goals and party change’. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 6(3): 259-287
- Goertz, G. (2006) Social Science Concepts: A User’s Guide. Princeton University Press, pp. 27-67 (Chapter 2)
- Inglehart, R. (1971) ‘The silent revolution in Europe: Intergenerational change in post-industrial societies’. American Political Science Review, 65(4): 991-1017
Subsection on populism (as a ‘thin-centred ideology’):
o Freeden, M. (1998) ‘Is nationalism a distinct ideology?’. Political Studies, 46(4): 748-765
o Mudde, C. (2004) ‘The populist zeitgeist’. Government and Opposition, 39(4): 541-563
o Stanley, B. (2008) ‘The thin ideology of populism’. Journal of Political Ideologies, 13(1): 95-110
o van Kessel, S. (2014) ‘The populist cat-dog: Applying the concept of populism to contemporary European party systems’. Journal of Political Ideologies, 19(1): 99-118
o Aslanidis, P. (2016) ‘Is populism an ideology? A refutation and a new perspective’. Political Studies, 64(S1): 88-104
o Rooduijn, M. (2019) ‘State of the field: How to study populism and adjacent topics? A plea for both more and less focus’. European Journal of Political Research, 58(1): 362-372
Measurement, description, and causal inference
Wednesday, 2 February 2022
In the third session, we will focus our attention on practical issues related to the measurement of our variables and the types of conclusions – and inferences – we can derive from our data.
- Gerring, J. (2012) ‘Mere description’. British Journal of Political Science, 42(4): 721-746
- Mahoney, J. (2000) ‘Strategies of causal inference in small-N analysis’. Sociological Methods & Research, 28(4): 387-424
- Wagner, M. (2012) ‘Defining and measuring niche parties’. Party Politics, 18(6): 845-864
- van Mierlo T. (2021) ‘Attrition as a bottom-up pathway to subnational democratization’. International Political Science Review, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1177/01925121211019269
Additional readings (optional):
- Adcock, R., & D. Collier (2001) ‘Measurement validity: A shared standard for qualitative and quantitative research’. American Political Science Review, 95(3): 529-546
- Fearon, J.D. (1991) ‘Counterfactuals and hypothesis testing in political science’. World Politics, 43(2): 169-195
- Lewis, D. (1973) ‘Causation’. The Journal of Philosophy, 70(17): 556-567
- Collier, D. (2011) ‘Understanding process tracing’. PS: Political Science and Politics, 44(4): 823-830
- Ragin, C.C. (1997) ‘Turning the tables: How case-oriented research challenges variable-oriented research’. Comparative Social Research, 16(1): 27-42
Single-case study, small-N, and large-N designs
Wednesday, 9 February 2022
In the fourth session, we will address the question of case selection and try to answer some of the key questions underlying the comparative research design.
- Sartori, G. (1991) ‘Comparing and miscomparing’. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 3(3): 243-257
- Geddes, B. (1990) ‘How the cases you choose affect the answers you get: Selection bias in comparative politics’. Political Analysis, 2(1): 131-150
- de Jonge L. (2019) ‘The populist radical right and the media in the Benelux: Friend or foe?’. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 24(2): 189-209
- Bos, A., J. Greenlee, M. Holman, Z. Oxley, & J. Lay (2021) ‘This one’s for the boys: How gendered political socialization limits girls’ political ambition and interest’. American Political Science Review, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055421001027
- Poguntke, T. (1987) ‘The organization of a participatory party–the German Greens’. European Journal of Political Research, 15(6): 609-633
- Tavits, M. (2012) ‘Organizing for success: Party organizational strength and electoral performance in postcommunist Europe’. The Journal of Politics, 74(1): 83-97
- McDonnell, D., & S. Ondelli (2020) ‘The language of right-wing populist leaders: Not so simple’. Perspectives on Politics, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1537592720002418
- Castelli Gattinara, P., C. Froio, & A.L.P. Pirro (forthcoming) ‘Far-right protest mobilisation: Grievances, opportunities, and resources’. European Journal of Political Research
Empirical data: questionnaires and surveys
Wednesday, 16 February 2022
In the fifth session, we will delve deeper into the art of crafting and gathering survey data. While discussing rather different sources (experts vs. mass), surveys – and the questions at the heart of them – subscribe to the same logic. We will pay attention to how tailoring the right questions has broader implications for empirical research.
- Converse, J.M., and S. Presser (1986) Survey Questions: Handcrafting the Standardized Questionnaire. Sage
- Bakker, R., L. Hooghe, S. Jolly, G. Marks, J. Polk, J. Rovny, M. Steenbergen & M.A. Vachudova (2020) ‘1999-2019 Chapel Hill Expert Survey Trend File (Version 1.0)’. https://www.chesdata.eu/1999-2019chestrend
- European Social Survey (2018) ‘ESS Round 9 Source Questionnaire’. https://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/data/download.html?r=9
- Castles, F.G., & P. Mair (1984) ‘Left–right political scales: Some ‘expert’ judgments’. European Journal of Political Research, 12(1): 73-88
- Hooghe, L., et al. (2010) ‘Reliability and validity of measuring party positions: The Chapel Hill expert surveys of 2002 and 2006’. European Journal of Political Research, 49(5): 687-703
- Pirro, A.L.P. (2015) ‘The populist radical right in the political process: Assessing party impact in Central and Eastern Europe’. In: M. Minkenberg (ed.) Transforming the Transformation? The East European Radical Right in the Political Process. Routledge, pp. 80-104
Communicating the results
Wednesday, 23 February 2022
The final session will be devoted to various writing tips – from structuring and writing a scientific paper to dealing with criticism.
- S. van Evera(1997) Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Cornell University Press, pp. 123-128 (Appendix: ‘How to write a paper’)
- Clark, A.M., & D.R. Thompson (2016) ‘Five tips for writing qualitative research in high-impact journals: Moving from #BMJnoQual’. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406916641250
- Ruggeri, A. (2020) ‘Submitting & publishing articles’. Unpublished manuscript
- Toshkov, D. (2016) Research Design in Political Science. Palgrave, pp. 328-344 (Chapter 12)
- Johnson, J.B., H.T. Reynolds, J.D. Mycoff (1995) Political Science Research Methods (Eighth Edition). CQ Press, pp. 584-684 (Chapter 15)