Skip to content
2022 Spring

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS RESEARCH METHODS - IRS288 Spring 2022


Course
Silviya Lechner
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

The Syllabus for this course can be found under "Resources" (in the left hand menu of the NEO platform).

Here is the course outline:

1. Week 1. Methodology of Social Science. Research Question. Ethics. Literature Review.

Feb 9 2:45pm .. 5:30pm, Online - via TEAMS (just log in to TEAMS at 14.40/ 09 Feb 2022)

Description: researchable vs. non-researchable questions, sifting through the literature (pitfalls), ethical concerns (harm via the conduct of research, anonymity, informed consent). Reading: Bryman, Ch. 3 ‘Formulating a Research Question’, Ch. 4 ‘Literature Review’, Ch. 5 ‘Ethics and Politics in Social Research’ (AAU library, reserve section, 392.3 BRY – 2012 edition) Recommended: Halperin &Heath, Ch. 4 ‘How to Do Research’, Ch. 6 (part 2 only) ‘Ethical Research’ & ‘Ethical issues’ (AAU library, reserve section, 320.072 HA) Assignments/deadlines: Allocation and explanation of course assignments

2. Week 2.Theory as a Guide to the Research Question. Central Theories in IR.

Feb 16 2:45pm .. 5:30pm, Room 2.06 - AAU Campus

Description: Theories of IR. Realism & Neorealism. Neo liberal institutionalism. Constructivism. Normative Theory. Poststructuralism Reading: Chris Brown (2019) ‘International Relations Theory Today’, in Understanding International Relations, Ch. 3, pp. 37-61. London: Red Globe Press/Springer Nature (NEO). Halperin & Heath (2019), Ch. 5 ‘Finding Answers: Theories and How to Apply Them’ (AAU library, 320.072 HA) Recommended: Brian Fay and J. Donald Moon, ‘What Would an Adequate Philosophy of Social Science Look Like?’, in Martin and McIntyre, Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, pp. 21-35. Baylis, Smith & Owens (2011) The Globalization of World Politics, Chapters 5, 7, 9, 10, 12 (Part Two) (AAU library, call number 327 BAY – multiple copies). Smith, Booth & Zalewski (eds.), (1996) International Theory: Positivism and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (AAU library - call number 327.101 SMI). Robert Keohane (1988) ‘International Institutions: Two Approaches’, International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32 (4): 379-396 (NEO). Hedley Bull (1966) ‘International Theory: The Case for a Classical Approach’ World Politics 18 (3): 361-377 (NEO). Scott Burchill, Andrew Linklater, Richard Devetak et al. (2009) Theories of International Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Colin Hay (2002) Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction, pp. 6-55. Basingstoke, Palgrave. [Introduction to the mainstream theories in Political Science, with emphasis on rational choice] Assignments/deadlines: None

3. Week 3. Explanation in Science Part 1. The Problem of Induction. Hume on Causation.

Feb 23 2:45pm .. 5:30pm, Room 2.06 - AAU Campus

Description: Causation, Hume, the Regularity View Reading: James Ladyman (2002) ‘The Problem of Induction’, in Understanding Philosophy of Science, pp. 32-61. London: Blackwell (NEO). John Losee (2011) ‘Hume on Causality’ (Ch. 6), in Theories of Causality: From Antiquity to the Present, pp. 29-36. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers (NEO). Recommended: Steven French, ‘Discovery’ (Ch.2), in Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy, pp. 8-23 (NEO). *Carl G. Hempel (1962) ‘Explanation in Science and in History’ (Chap. 1), in Robert G. Colodny (ed.), Frontiers in Science and Philosophy. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. (Read Ch. 1, sections 1-3, pp. 10-19): https://digital.library.pitt.edu/islandora/object/pitt%3A31735057893632/viewer#page/14/mode/2up Ernst Nagel (1961) The Structure of Science. Harcourt: Brace & World (classic work on scientific theory from a logical positivist standpoint). Assignments/deadlines: None

4. Week 4. Explanation in Science, Part 2. Logical Empiricism. Deduction & Falsification

Mar 2 2:45pm .. 5:30pm, Room 2.06 - AAU Campus

Description: Karl Popper’s attack on inductivism. Falsification and its Critics Reading: Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Ch. 1 (NEO). Martin Curd & J A Cover (eds), ‘Science and Pseudo-Science’ (Ch. 1), in Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues, pp. 1-27, 62-72. New York: WW Norton (NEO). Recommended: Wesley Samlon (2000) ‘Logical Empiricism’ (Ch. 36), in W. H. Newton-Smith (ed.), Companion to the Philosophy of Science, London: Blackwell (NEO). Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, Chap. 1 (skip section 5) (NEO). Steven French, Ch. 4 ‘Justification’, in Science: Key Concepts in Philosophy, 43-59 (NEO). Carl G. Hempel, ‘The Function of General Laws in History’, Journal of Philosophy 39: 35-48 (NEO) Relevant to international studies *Steve Smith, ‘Positivism and Beyond’, in Smith, Booth, and Zalewski (eds.), International Theory: Positivism and Beyond, pp. 11-44 (NEO). Michael Nicholson, ‘The Continued Significance of Positivism?’, in Steve Smith, Ken Booth and Marysia Zalewski (eds.), International Theory: Positivism and Beyond, pp. 128-145. King, Keohane, and Verba (1994) Designing Social Inquiry, Ch. 1, pp. 3-28 (AAU library, reserve section). Assignments/deadlines: First assignment (research question essay) due.

5. Week 5. Beyond Positivism. Rationality, History, and Science.

Mar 9 2:45pm .. 5:30pm, Room 2.06 - AAU Campus

Description: The scientific theories of Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos & Paul Feyerabend Reading: Thomas Kuhn (1970) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd edn. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Ch.4 (‘Normal Science as Puzzle Solving’) and Ch. 10 (‘Revolutions as Changes of World View’), pp. 35-42, 111-135 (NEO). Paul Feyerabend (1975) ‘Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge’, in Ahmad Raza (ed.), Philosophy of Science since Bacon (2011), pp. 121-136. New York: Nova Science Publishers. (Originally published as Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge, pp. 17-22 (‘Introduction’) & pp. 295-309 (Ch. 18). London: Verso. (NEO) Recommended: Alan Chalmers (2013), ‘Theories as Structures II: Research Programs’, in What is this Thing Called Science, 4th edn, pp. 121-137 (NEO). Imre Lakatos (1970), ‘Criticism and the Methodology of Scientific Research’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Vol. 69 (1968 - 1969): 149-186. Assignments/deadlines: None

6. Week 6. Hermeneutics. Understanding vs. Explanation

Mar 16 2:45pm .. 3:45pm, 2.06

Week 6. Hermeneutics. Explanation vs. Understanding. Description: Holism (parts and wholes). Language. Norms and Rule-following. Reading: Charles Taylor (1971) ‘Interpretation and the Sciences of Man’ Review of Metaphysics 25: 3-51 (NEO). Peter Winch, The Idea of Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy, 2nd edn. London: Routledge, Ch. 2 (40-65) and Sect. 5&6 from Ch. 3 (83-91) (NEO). Recommended: William Dray, ‘The Rationale of Action’, in Martin and McIntyre (eds.), Readings in the Phil. Soc. Science, pp. 173-180 (NEO). Martin Hollis (1996) ‘Explaining and Understanding’ (Ch. 9), in The Philosophy of Social Science, pp. 183-201 (NEO). Carl G. Hempel ‘Explanation in Science and in History’ (Chap. 1) in Frontiers in Science and Philosophy (read Ch. 1 only pp. 19-31, sections 4-7): https://digital.library.pitt.edu/islandora/object/pitt%3A31735057893632/viewer#page/14/mode/2up. Hans-Georg Gadamer (1981) Reason in an Age of Science, trans. Frederick G. Lawrence. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Michael Oakeshott (1975) On Human Conduct, pp. 33-58, 91-107. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Max Weber, ‘ “Objectivity” in Social Science and Social Policy’, in Martin and McIntyre (eds.), Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, Ch. 34. *Hollis, Martin & Smith, Steve (1991) Explaining and Understanding International Relations. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Assignments/deadlines: None

7. Week 7. Formal Methods. Rational Choice

Mar 23 2:45pm .. 3:45pm, 2.06

Description: Methodological Individualism. Rational Choice and Game Theory. Reading: Jon Elster (1989) ‘Rational Choice’ (Ch. 3) and ‘When Rationality Fails’ (Ch. 4), in Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, pp. 22-29, 30-41. New York: Cambridge University Press (NEO). Martin Hollis (1994) ‘Games with Rational Agents’ (Ch. 6) in The Philosophy of Social Science, pp. 115-141 (NEO). Recommended: *Joe A. Oppenheimer (2010) ‘Rational Choice Theory’ in Mark Bevir (ed.) Encyclopedia of Political Theory, 1150-1159. Thousand Oaks: SAGE. Jon Elster, ‘The Nature and Scope of Rational Choice Explanation’, in Martin and McIntyre, Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, Ch. 20, pp. 311-322 (NEO). Martin Hollis (1987) ‘Rational Choice’ in The Cunning of Reason, pp. 15-28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (NEO). Thomas Schelling (1960) The Strategy of Conflict, pp. 55-56. [On the concept of ‘focal point’]. Thomas Schelling (1985) ‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own’, in Choice and Consequence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Ch. 5. Relevant to international studies Duncan Snidal (1985) ‘The Game Theory of International Politics’ World Politics 38: 25-57 (NEO). Gabriel A. Almond (1991) ‘Rational Choice Theory and the Social Sciences’, in Kristen Renwick Monroe, ed., The Economic Approach to Politics, New York: HarperCollins. Donald P Green & Ian Shapiro (1994) Pathologies of Rational Choice: A Critique of Applications in Political Science. New Haven: Yale University Press. Assignments/deadlines: Second assignment (literature review essay) due

8. (28.03.2022- 01.04.2022) Mid-term break. No Class

9. Week 8. Neo-Marxism and Critical Theory

Apr 6 2:45pm .. 3:45pm, 2.06

Description: Traditional and critical theory, mass culture and the ‘culture industry’, irrationality and fascist tendencies of modernity and the Enlightenment. Reading: Max Horkheimer, ‘Traditional and Critical Theory’ (Ch. 33), in Delanty and Strydom, Philosophies of Social Science, pp. 218-223 (NEO) Theodor Adorno (1991) ‘Culture Industry Reconsidered’ and ‘Free Time’, in Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry [1976], ed. J. M. Bernstein, pp. 98-106, 187-197. London and New York: Routledge (NEO). Recommended: Jürgen Habermas, ‘The Tasks of Critical Theory’ (Ch. 36), Knowledge and Human Interests, in Delanty and Strydom, Philosophies of Social Science, pp. 234-245 (NEO). Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer (1979) Dialectic of Enlightenment [1947], trans. John Cumming. London and New York: Verso. Raymond Geuss (1981) The Idea of a Critical Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. David Couzens Hoy & Thomas McCarthy (1994) Critical Theory. Oxford: Blackwell. William Outhwaite (1987) New Philosophies of Social Science: Realism, Hermeneutics and Critical Theory. Basinstoke: Palgrave. Relevant to international studies Chris Brown (1994) ‘ “Turtles All the Way Down”: Anti-Foundationalism, Critical Theory and International Relations’ Millennium 23 (2): 213-236 (NEO). Andrew Linklater (1990) Beyond Realism and Marxism: Critical Theory and International Relations. Houndmills: Palgrave. Andrew Linklater (2007) Critical Theory and World Politics. New York and London: Routledge. Robert W. Cox (1983) ‘Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method’ Millennium 12 (2): 162-175. Mark Hoffman (1987) ‘Critical Theory and the Inter-Paradigm Debate’ Millennium 16 (2): 231-250. Assignments/deadlines: None

10. Week 9. Poststructuralism

Apr 13 2:45pm .. 3:45pm, 2.06

Description: Understanding reality as a ‘text’. Overcoming structuralism, deconstructing meaning, the signifier/the signified. Discourse & Power. Reading: Jacques Derrida (2001) ‘On Cosmopolitanism’ in On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, ed. Simon Critchley, and Richard Kearney, 1-24. New York: Routledge (NEO). Michel Foucault (1995) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975), trans. Alan Sheridan, New York: Vintage Books. Available from archive.org (registration required, borrowing slot 1hr) Part III, Chs. 1 & 3. https://archive.org/details/disciplinepunish0000fouc Recommended: Michel Foucault (2007) ‘Governmentality’, in Security, Territory, Population. Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978, trans. Graham Burchell, pp. 87–114. Palgrave. Michel Foucault (1980) ‘Truth and Power’, in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews & Other Writings 1972–1977, trans. Colin Gordon, Leo Marshall, John Mepham & Kate Soper, ed. Colin Gordon, pp. 109–133. New York: Vintage Books. Friedrich Nietzsche (1994) On the Genealogy of Morality [1887], trans. Carol Diethe, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Relevant to international studies Jacques Derrida (1992) The Other Heading: Reflections on Today's Europe, trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael B. Naas. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. James Der Derian (1999) ‘A Virtual Theory of Global Politics, Mimetic War and the Spectral State’, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (Am. Society of International Law) 93 (2): 163-176 (NEO). RBJ Walker (1993) Inside/Outside International Relations as Political Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Assignments/deadlines: None

11. Week 10. Research Design

Apr 20 2:45pm .. 5:15pm, 2.06

Description: Various types of research design. Variables. Measurement. Validity. Reliability. Reading: Halperin & Heath, Ch. 6 ‘Research Design’, Ch. 7 ‘What is Data’, Ch. 9 ‘Comparative Design’ (AAU library, 320.072 HA) Recommended: Bryman, Ch. 2 ‘Research Design’ (AAU Library, 302.3 BRY 2012 edition) Rugg & Petre (2007), Ch. 2 ‘Research Design’ in A Gentle Guide to Research Methods (NEO). Prof. William Trochim, Research Knowledge Database - https://conjointly.com/kb/ Assignments/deadlines: None

12. Week 11. Quantitative Research. Surveys. Interviewing

Apr 27 2:45pm .. 5:15pm, 2.06

Description: Discussion of quantitative methodology, sampling, sampling error, survey methods and structured interviews. Reading: Halperin & Heath, Ch. 15 ‘Qualitative Analysis. Description & Inference’, Ch. 11 ‘Surveys’, Ch. 12 ‘Interviewing’ (AAU library, 320.072 HA). Recommended: Lisa Harrison (2001) ‘Using Surveys in Political Research’ (Ch. 5), in Political Research: An introduction, pp. 40-55. London: Routledge (NEO). Halperin & Heath, Ch. 17 ‘A Guide to Multivariate Analysis’ (read chapter up to ‘OLS regression’) Bryman, Ch 7 ‘Sampling’ & Ch. 8 ‘Structured Interviewing’. Rugg & Petre (2007) ‘Interviews’, in A Gentle Guide to Research Methods, pp. 135-151. Prof. William Trochim, Research Knowledge Database - https://conjointly.com/kb/ Assignments/deadlines: None

13. Week 12. Qualitative Methods

May 4 2:45pm .. 5:15pm, 2.06

Description: Ethnography, Participant Observation, Case Study Reading: Halperin & Heath, Ch. 13 ‘Ethnography and Participant Observation’, Ch. 9 ‘Comparative Research’ (esp. section ‘Case Study’& ‘Small N comparison’) (AAU library) Bryman, Ch.2 ‘Case Study Design’, Ch. 17 ‘Ethnography and Participant Observation’ (AAU library) Rugg and Petre (2007), ‘Observation’, in A Gentle Guide to Research Methods, pp. 109-114 (NEO) Recommended: Robert K. Yin (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 4th edn. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, Chs. 2, 3, 5. Relevant to International Studies: Nicholas Wheeler (2000) Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press (various case studies on humanitarian intervention in the 1990s). Assignments/deadlines: None

14. Week 13. Student Presentations of term paper/research project for students with surnames A-H, Part I

May 11 2:45pm .. 5:15pm, 2.06

Description: In-class presentation of term paper/research project followed by discussion Reading: None Assignments/deadlines: Student presentations Pt. 1 (Assignment 4) Group 1. Please submit the written notes accompanying your presentation to NEO and to the instructor

15. Week 14. Student Presentations of term paper/research project for students with surnames I-Z, Par...

May 18 2:45pm .. 5:15pm, 2.06

Description: In-class presentation of term paper/research project followed by discussion Reading: None Assignments/deadlines: (1) Research Proposal due (Assignment 3) for all students (2) Student presentations Pt. 2 (Assignment 4), Group 2. Please submit the written notes accompanying your presentation to NEO as well as to the instructor as a paper copy

Back to top