Scope and Methods
This is a mandatory course for students in the 2-year MA program, which aims to introduce the students to the logic and instruments of empirical social research and to help them acquire essential practical research skills. Part I gives an overview of the essential features of social research, such as its grounding in robust, controlled and transparent evidence, the search for patterns and causalities, its concerns with generalization and contextualization, the role and place of "theory", or the importance of a proper operationalization of research questions. Part II provides an introduction to the most important methods for data collection and analysis in political science. Part III takes place in the Winter term and looks at issues of research process and design mostly through the examples of the participants’ own thesis writing plans.