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Core Course: Research Design


The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of research design in the social sciences, and public administration in particular. Students will get the fundamental skills needed to critically evaluate existing research. Students will also learn how to discover interesting and doable research questions, sharpen the theories they use, and develop sound designs for empirical research. The course will provide an overview of experimental, comparative, large-N, and single case study designs. Case-selection strategies and common threats to internal and external validity of different research approaches will also be covered. Students will have ample opportunities to discuss and critique the research design of state-of-the-art academic articles in public administration and related fields, and to develop their own research proposal.

Dr. D. Toshkov

Teaching format
Lectures, discussions of academic articles and assignments, and exercises.

Study material
1. King, Gary, Robert Keohane and Sidney Verba (1994) Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
2. Articles (available on Blackboard or through the University Library services).

Writing a research proposal. Weekly assignments.

Schedule Block I
Lectures Tuesday 7/9 – 19/10
Time 9.00-12.00 in SA-41

Schedule block III
Feb 2: Steenis E005
(Monday !) Feb 7: SA41 (FSW)
Feb 16: Gorl 03
Feb 23: Gorl hav
March 2: Gorl 02
March 9 Gorl 02
March 16 SCO1 (FSW)


This schedule is subject to change.

Latest update: JAN 2011