Politics G53.1000 Youssef Cohen
New York University
APPROACHES TO POLITICAL INQUIRY
This course is about how to make valid descriptive and causal inferences in political science. It applies both to quantitative and qualitative research. The course starts with a review of the logic and methods of natural science and their application to the social sciences. Then we shall study causality, causal explanation and causal inference in detail. The course concludes with a review of the most important problems that arise in designing political research. Grades will be based on two short papers and class participation.
Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, 33-59
Carl Hempel, Philosophy of Natural Science, 1-32, 47-84
Imre Lakatos, The Methodology of Scientific Research Programs, 1-52, 86-101
Arthur Stinchcombe, Constructing Social Theories, 15-28
Gary King et. al., Designing Social Inquiry, 3-33
Charles Taylor, "Interpretation and the Sciences of man."
Michael Martin, "Taylor on Interpretation and the Sciences of man."
Dagfinn Follesdal, "Hermeneutics and the Hypothetico-Deductive method."
J. Donald Moon, "The logic of Political Inquiry."
Descriptive Inference and Causal Inference
Gary King et. al., Designing Social Inquiry, 35-114
Arthur Stinchcombe, Constructing Social Theories, 28-38
Types of Causal Explanation
Jon Elster, Explaining Technical Change, 9-88
Arthur Stinchcombe, Constructing Social Theories, 80-101
Alasdair MacIntyre, Against the Self-Images of the Age, 211-29
Russell Hardin, "Rationality, Irrationality and Functional Explanation."
G. A. Cohen, "Functional Explanation, Causal Explanation and Marxism."
Jon Elster, Rational Choice, 1-34
Jon Elster, Nuts and Bolts, 3-41, 91-100, 124-34
Michael Taylor, "Rationality and Revolutionary Collective Action."
Youssef Cohen, Radicals, Reformists and Reactionaries,
Research Design: Selection Bias, Measurement Error, Endogeneity, etc.
Gary King et. al., Designing Social Inquiry, 115-207
Ronald Rogowski, "The Role of Theory and Anomaly in Social-Scientific Research."
Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions, 47-157