What makes a research project scientific? What is the difference between a scientific research project and journalistic reporting? How do we reduce complex reality into concepts that can be systematically studied and how can we measure these concepts? What are the techniques available for gathering data? And what are the different ways for making sense of the data?
To answer these questions the course provides an introduction to social science research. We will discuss what social science is as well as explore techniques for conducting research in practice. The course discusses concepts and issues relevant for social sciences in general, but focuses on examples and issues particularly relevant in the field of Public Administration. The course introduces students to what can be regarded as the “craft” of their discipline, i.e. the method and techniques needed for their master thesis. The overall goal of the course is twofold: to help students become a critical reader of research, and to prepare them for conducting a research project of their own.
Babbie, Earl (2010). The Practice of Social Research, 12th edition. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. ISBN-10: 0-495-59842-9; ISBN-13: 978-0-495-59842-8.
Please notice that this book is sold in paperback and hardcover. Students are advised to buy the (cheaper) paperback book.
Each week we will also read an academic article, which will be available over the blackboard or in academic databases.
Students wishing to consult a more advanced text are encouraged to look at the following books:
Singleton, R.A, Jr. and B.C. Straits (1999) Approaches to Social Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shadish, W.R.; Cook, T.D. and Campell, D.T. (2002) Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inferences. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Hancke, B. (2009) Intelligent Research Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Schedule Block II;
Tuesdays 1/11 t/m 13/12
Time: 20.00-21.30 hrs
Room: Campus Den haag, Lange Houtstraat 7, room 401
Tuesday 20/12 van 18.30-21.30 uur in Lange Houtstraat, zaal 401/402/403/404/405
Tuesday 17/1/12 van 18.30-21.30 uur in Lange Houtstraat, zaal 403
Latest update August 8, 2011