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Course 2021-2022 a.y.

20469 - INSTITUTIONS, GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY - MODULE I

DES-ESS
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 20 - 21

DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:
GIOVANNI FATTORE

Classes: 20 (I sem.) - 21 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 20: GIOVANNI FATTORE, Class 21: GIOVANNI FATTORE


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

How do you design a research project? How do you identify a good topic, and what steps do you take from the start to producing a publishable paper? In this course we will take you from the very beginnings of your research idea through to producing high-impact research. We will show you how to define a feasible topic, conduct a systematic review of literature, and identify the appropriate method for your research question. The course will help you learn how to read effectively, so that you can write better and feel confident when critiquing existing research. We will also help you to avoid some of the most common pitfalls that graduate students make when engaging in research for what may be first time. In so doing the course we will cover multiple research methods which will help you, albeit less from a technical aspect (which is covered in your other courses) but from the perspective of design and real-world impact. Our training in this course is not bound to the confines of a specific field. We will, however, draw heavily on examples from economics, political science and population health. The overarching aim is to help you become good scientists – and to transition from being passive ‘consumers of research’ to start actively producing your own sound science by the end of the course.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The first part of the course covers causal inference in the social sciences by presenting the main models used in contemporary research. The second part discusses validity of empirical studies and complement the first part of the course with additional methods/topics that are increasingnly popular in empirical research in the social sciences.

Part 1. Main analytical approaches for causal interference:

    The conterfactual model.
    Randomization and its discontents.
    Regression Models.
    Instrumental variables.
    Regression Discontinuity Design.
    Difference-in-Differences Design.

Part 2. Validity and additional topics/methods for empirical research in the social sciences:

    Survey research and sampling.
    Social Network Analysis
    Content Analysis.
    Systematic Reviews and meta-analsysis.
    Validity of research designs.
 


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the logics of causal inference.
  • Master different models to test causality.
  • Be aware of the main quantitative research methods used in the social sciences
  • Critically review a scientific paper
  • Conduct and write a systematic review
  • Produce a research proposal and present it in public
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

 

  • Work in groups to prepare a research proposal.
  • Conduct a Systematic Review
  • Prepare a research proposal.
  • Deliver a presentation of a research proposal

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Group assignments
DETAILS

Students work in groups to conduct a systematic review and to prepare and present in class a research proposal


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •   x  
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    ​​​​​Groupwork: systematic review (word document no longer than 2000 words) (25%)

    Groupwork: research proposal (and presentation in class) (25%)

    Written exam: 50%

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Final written exam: 50%

    Individual research proposal: (50%) (a word document no longer than 3000 words to be submitted before sitting the written exam).


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    See the Syllabus

    Last change 17/08/2021 17:53