SPE 485 Syllabus (Fall 2014) with more updates.
Course Description: This course provides hands-on practice with computer applications for quantitative data analysis. There will be step-by-step instructions on how to put research inquiry into actual statistical programming. We will use the two most popular statistical software programs – Stata and R. Both Stata and R run on publicly available packages and user-written scripts. They offer flexible environments that allow users to draw statistical inferences based on the understanding of matrix algebra.
In particular, we will cover a few techniques that can be very useful for writing a quantitative research paper. The areas of focus include 1) preparing machine-readable datasets, 2) reporting regression outcomes, 3) understanding interaction effects through graphics, 4) drawing statistical inferences using simulation, and 5) imputing missing data. For interactive learning, students are highly encouraged to bring their own working datasets to the in-class discussion and to get assistance in any of these five topic areas.
In addition to working on data analysis techniques, this class is designed to help students learn and use LaTex. LaTex is a typesetting system allowing students to produce scientific and technical documentation. Students are recommended to work on a sample LaTex template (a *.tex file) that can serve their specific purpose (e.g. writing a formal theory paper, report on a short assignment, or presentation slides).
Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness (Samples of Course Evaluation)
This course is designed to help students develop their critical perspectives in the field of Comparative Politics, with an emphasis on political regimes and formal institutions. However, not limited to this specific scope, the course will also draw upon the diversity of how political systems operate around the world (e.g. covering the relevant topics such as political economy, development, identities, and religions). With the equally in-depth exploration of the corresponding theories, this course also highlights the application of those perspectives to the relevant country cases. This combined effort will proceed with the review of core theories followed by analyzing the related survey of country cases using comparative tools. Students in this class will also have an opportunity to develop their original research project through a careful case selection and a solid understanding of the political context of the areas under study. The intent of this course is to provide a succinct survey of the leading comparative topics, their relevant theories, and well thought-out application through case examples.
This course is designed to introduce students to the logic of research design and the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods of political science to investigate political issues. Over the course of this term, we will learn how to think like political scientists while developing various skills required by the discipline: how to choose which method to employ, how to undertake original research (complete with data collection and analysis), and how to present your findings.
This course is designed to introduce the theoretical frameworks on the causes of global economic and political relations. To do so, we take a political economy approach that grounds policy choices in the competitive environments of domestic politics and decision-making processes. With this microlens to examining political behavior, the course examines how the micro tools provide leverage in understanding global affairs, especially the context of the empirical word over the past two hundred years.
The substance of the course materials is prepared in three basic structures. We will begin with key assumptions and conditions of economic political geography. The following section will develop into the micro-level conditions, mechanisms, and their shortfalls, which influence political and economic outcomes. We will then use those primary assumptions and micro-level arrangements to make sense of the changes in the global political economy over the past two hundred years.
This course will cover the periods from the end of the Napoleonic wars through industrialization, the development of globalization and the Atlantic economy, and the breakdown in globalization, and cooperation, during the interwar year, as well as the revival of globalization during the Bretton Woods period, the transition post-Bretton Woods, and the current era of global financial crises and responses to those crises.