SemesterFall Semester, 2019
DepartmentInternational Master's Program in International Studies, First Year International Master's Program in International Studies, Second Year
Course NameResearch Methods
Course TypeRequired
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Week 1: Introduction

G. King, et al., Designing Social Inquiry, chap. 1 (scan, Moodle)


Week 2: Concept and Methods


J. Levy, “Qualitative Methods in International Relations,” in F. Harvey and M. Brecher, eds., Evaluating Methodology in International Studies



Levy, Jack S. "Qualitative methods and cross-method dialogue in political science." Comparative Political Studies 40, no. 2 (2007): 196-214.


Bennett, Andrew, and Colin Elman. "Qualitative methods: The view from the subfields." (2007): 111-121.


Tickner, J. Ann. "What is your research program? Some feminist answers to international relations methodological questions." International Studies Quarterly 49, no. 1 (2005): 1-21.


Week 3: Case Studies


Bennett, Andrew, and Colin Elman. "Case study methods in the international relations subfield." Comparative Political Studies 40, no. 2 (2007): 170-195.


George, Alexander L., Andrew Bennett, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven E. Miller. Case studies and theory development in the social sciences. MIT Press, 2005 (electronic version available through Google Scholar)


Week 4: Process Tracing/Path Dependency/Historical Institutionalism


A. Bennett and C. Elman, “Case study method in the international relations,” Comparative Political Studies 40 (2007)


Capoccia, Giovanni, and R. Daniel Kelemen. "The study of critical junctures: Theory, narrative, and counterfactuals in historical institutionalism." World politics 59, no. 3 (2007): 341-369.


Fioretos, Orfeo. "Historical institutionalism in international relations." International Organization 65, no. 2 (2011): 367-399.


Week 5: Archival and Related Research


Schultz, Lucille M. Beyond the archives: Research as a lived process. SIU Press, 2008, foreword, chaps. 1-2 (electronic source, Google Scholar).


Simmons, Beth A. "International studies in the global information age." International Studies Quarterly 55, no. 3 (2011): 589-599.


Michael, Gabriel J. "Who's Afraid of WikiLeaks? Missed Opportunities in Political Science Research." Review of Policy Research 32, no. 2 (2015): 175-199.


Week 6: Comparative Methods

De Lombaerde, Philippe, Fredrik Söderbaum, Luk Van Langenhove, and Francis Baert. "The problem of comparison in comparative regionalism." Review of International Studies36, no. 3 (2010): 731-753.


Mahoney, James. "Qualitative methodology and comparative politics." Comparative Political Studies 40, no. 2 (2007): 122-144.


Mahoney, James, and Dietrich Rueschemeyer, eds. Comparative historical analysis in the social sciences. Cambridge University Press, 2003, chapter one (available electronically through Google Scholar)

Week 7: Discourse Analysis


Milliken, Jennifer. "The study of discourse in international relations: A critique of research and methods." European journal of international relations 5, no. 2 (1999): 225-254.


Schmidt, Vivien A. "Discursive institutionalism: The explanatory power of ideas and discourse." Annual review of political science 11 (2008).


Week 8: Fieldwork and Elite Interviews


de Volo, Lorraine Bayard, and Edward Schatz. "From the inside out: Ethnographic methods in political research." PS: Political Science & Politics 37, no. 2 (2004): 267-271.


Parkinson, Sarah Elizabeth. "Organizing rebellion: Rethinking high-risk mobilization and social networks in war." American Political Science Review 107, no. 3 (2013): 418-432.


Leech, Beth L. "Interview methods in political science." PS: political science & politics 35, no. 4 (2002): 663-664.


McEvoy, Joanne. "Elite interviewing in a divided society: Lessons from Northern Ireland." Politics 26, no. 3 (2006): 184-191.


Rincker, Meg E. "Masculinized or marginalized: Decentralization and women's status in regional Polish institutions." Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 30, no. 1 (2009): 46-69.


Week 9: Midterm Assignment


Week 10: IMPIS Requirements


Material on Moodle


Week 11: Who Are You?


Walt, Stephen M. "International relations: one world, many theories." Foreign policy (1998): 29-46.


“Introduction,” Roach, Steven C., Martin Griffiths, and Terry O'Callaghan. International relations: the key concepts. Routledge, 2014. (Electronic access through Google Scholar)


Week 12: Posing a Scholarly Question


Adam McCauley and Andrea Ruggeri, “Formulating Research Questions & Designing Research Projects in International Relations,” in Luigi Curini and Rob Franzese (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations (Moodle)


Week 13: Literature Reviews: Purpose, Components, and Structure


C. Hart, Doing a Literature Review, chap 1 (scan, Moodle)


Knopf, Jeffrey W. "Doing a literature review." PS: Political Science & Politics 39, no. 1 (2006): 127-132.


HULTMAN, LISA, JACOB KATHMAN, and MEGAN SHANNON. "Beyond Keeping Peace: United Nations Effectiveness in the Midst of Fighting." The American Political Science Review 108, no. 4 (2014): 737-53


Blanchard, Eric M. "Gender, international relations, and the development of feminist security theory." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28, no. 4 (2003): 1289-1312.

Week of 14: Constructing an Argument to Answer Your Question

Gary Goertz and Jack Levy, Explaining War and Peace: Case Studies and Necessary Condition Counterfactuals (electronic through library)

Weeks 15-17: Presentation of Initial Ideas for a Paper or Thesis


Who Are You?

Draft question

Ideas on why the question is important

Types of literature to review

Method (specifics)

Data Sources and Availability

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

  1. A five-page paper , due the week of midterms, which outlines a question or problem arising from a particular set of readings. Worth 35% of total grade.

  2. A fifteen page paper which will constitute a paper proposal or an initial thesis proposal. Worth 50% of total grade.

  3. Attendance and in-class discussion . Worth 15% of total grade.

Textbook & Reference
Urls about Course

Pol Phil and IR Syllabus 2019.pdf