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Research Design



The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the core elements of research design, and help them to develop an advanced level understanding of what constitutes a proper research design to be used in political science and public administration. Topics include the following: types of research questions, the role of theory, concepts, operationalization & measurement, causality and explanation, and common research design issues in experimental and observational, large-N, comparative and single-case projects. It also covers philosophy of science issues.

Objective 1. This course provides an advanced level introduction to the core elements of what constitutes a proper research design.
Objective 2. Students who follow this course will gain the knowledge and tools necessary to develop their own research design. They will, moreover, develop academic skills in reviewing, analyzing, and presenting on literature, and in applying ideas and theory to critically assess their own research.

Method of instruction

Class discussion and student presentations

Study Material

Toshkov, D. (2016). Research Design in Political Science. Palgrave Macmillan.
Other readings will be available online, a literature list will be provided through blackboard.


Short assignments, participation, final paper