Topic outline

  • Syllabus

  • 1. Introductory Lecture (Vít Střítecký) – 15.2.

    Structure of the course, assignment - methodological reconstruction, MA dissertation registration process. This lecture will introduce the assessment matrix that will be used by the reviewers to evaluate your MA dissertation. The general philosophy as well as specific sections of the matrix will be explained. The matrix reflects the overall requirements of a quality research and thus should serve as the guideline for writing. The research design reflects the steps that should be taken to perform a quality research. The process starts with the topic selection and continues through the formulation of research questions/hypotheses to creation of the conceptual and methodological framework. The lecture will also introduce the MA dissertation project.

     

    • 2. Metatheoretical Introduction: Ontology and epistemology (Jakub Tesař) - 22.2.

      This lecture will introduce the philosophical underpinnings of different methodological approaches in social sciences.


      Recommended literature:
      Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus (2011) The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations. Philosophy of science and its implications for the study of world politics. London and New York: Routledge.
      Chaps. 1 and 2.

    • 3. Qualitative explanatory methodology: Introduction to the first block (Zdeněk Ludvík) - 1.3.

      This session will be devoted to the introduction into qualitative explanatory methodology and the most prominent qualitative methodological approaches.
      First, the lecture will introduce the term of causality and explain the conditions of causal relationships between the phenomena. Subsequently, the lecture will focus on the method of correlation / co-variation, congruence, process tracing and comparative methods.

      Literature related to the assignment:

      Ates, Altinordu (2010): The Politicization of Religion: Political Catholicism and Political Islam in Comparative Perspective. Politics & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 517–551.

      Bakke, Kristin M. (2013): Copying and Learning from Outsiders? Assessing Diffusion from Transnational Insurgents in the Chechen Wars. In: Checkel, Jeffrey (ed.): Transnational Dynamics of Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 31–62.

      Lee, Dong Sun – Kim, Sung Eun (2010): Ties That Bind? Assessing the Impact of Economic Interdependence on East Asian Alliances. The East Asia Institute, Asia Security Initiative, Working Paper No. 3, pp. 1–31.

      Ripsman, Norrin M. – Levy, Jack S. (2007): The Preventive War that Never Happened: Britain, France, and the Rise of Germany in the 1930s. Security Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 32–67.

    • 4. Casual case study (Zdeněk Ludvík) - 8.3.

      Based on the introduction to qualitative explanatory methodology, this lecture will present the procedures of conducting an explanatory qualitative research. The students will be familiarized
      with how to apply qualitative explanatory methods within casual case studies. Particular qualitative explanatory research designs will be discussed and specific research proceedings will be identified,
      described and reconstructed.


      Recommended literature:
      Blatter, Joachim – Blume, Till (2008): In Search of Co-variance, Causal Mechanisms or Congruence? Towards a Plural Understanding of Case Studies. Swiss Political Science Review,
      Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 315-335 only.
      Baxter, Pamela – Jack, Susan (2008): Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers.
      The Qualitative Report, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 544-559.
      Flyvbjerg, Bent (2006): Five Misunderstandings about Case-Study Research.
      Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 219-245.
      Seawright, Jason – Gerring, John (2008): Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research: A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options.
      Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp.
      294-308.
      Van Evera, Stephen (1997):
      Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, pp. 7-88 only.

    • 5. Causal Mechanisms – (Vít Střítecký) - 15.3.

      The session will further inquire into causal explanatory frameworks by providing a detailed review of the assignment I. This will allow to clarify all unclarities and further explain the specific features of the causal research strategies. By the end of the session the assignment II will be introduced.   

       

      Recommended literature (same as in the previous week)

      Blatter, Joachim – Blume, Till (2008): In Search of Co-variance, Causal Mechanisms or Congruence? Towards a Plural Understanding of Case Studies. Swiss Political Science Review, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 315-335 only.

      Baxter, Pamela – Jack, Susan (2008): Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers. The Qualitative Report, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 544-559.

      Seawright, Jason – Gerring, John (2008): Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research: A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options. Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 294-308.

      Flyvbjerg, Bent (2006): Five Misunderstandings about Case-Study Research. Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 219-245.

      Van Evera, Stephen (1997): Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, pp. 7-88 only

    • 6. Applying causality (Vít Střítecký) - 22.3.

      Causality mechanisms can be observed in various empirical contexts. The session will introduce some of the classical applications while providing a reflection of the applicability, limits and other potential pitfalls of the methodology.

       Recommended literature

      Ross, L. Michael (2004): How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War? Evidence from Thirteen Cases, International Organization, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Winter, 2004), pp. 35-67

      Fortna, P., Virginia (2004): Interstate Peacekeeping: Causal Mechanisms and Empirical Effects, World Politics, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Jul., 2004), pp. 481-519

      Mwita, Chacha, Stojek Szymon (2019): Colonial ties and civil conflict intervention: Clarifying the causal mechanisms, Conflict Management and Peace Science, 36 (1)

      Checkel, T., Jeffrey (2006): Tracing Causal Mechanisms, International Studies Review, Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2006, Pages 362–370.

      Arista Maria Cirtautas & Frank Schimmelfennig (2010): Europeanisation Before and After Accession: Conditionality, Legacies and Compliance, Europe-Asia Studies, 62:3,421-441.

    • 7. Interpretative Thinking: Introduction to the second block (Ondřej Ditrych) - 29.3.

      This lecture will discuss the foundations of interpretive social sciences.

       Recommended literature:

      Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine, and Dvora Yanow. 2012. Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes. New York; London: Routledge. Chapter 2.

      Yanow, Dvora. 2006. ‘Neither Rigorous Nor Objective? Interrogating Criteria for Knowledge Claims in Interpretive Science’. In Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn, edited by Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, 67–88. New York: M. E. Sharpe.

      Aradau, Claudia and Jef Huysmans. 2013. Critical Methods in International Relations: The Politics of Techniques, Devices and Acts. European Journal of International Relations 20(3): 2014.

    • 9. Data & Interviews (Sarah Komasová) - 12.4.

      This session will introduce and differentiate between traditional principles of data collection in qualitative research. Fundamental challenges of these approaches (questions posing in regard to their comprehensibility as well as following data commensurability) will be tackled. Basic principles of questions preparation will be introduced.


      Recommended literature:
      Foddy, William. 1993. Constructing Questions for Interviews and Questionnaires: Theory and Practice in Social Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 3 (25-37) and
      Chapter 4 (pp. 38-51).

    • 10. Content and Thematic analysis (Sarah Komasová) - 19.4.

      This session will introduce two cornerstones and also the simplest methods of qualitative data treatment. Their comprehension will also serve as a necessary preliminary step to the following
      lecture, which will deal with the problematic of discourse analysis. These approaches are nevertheless very useful themselves and might be used as a good methodological grounding for
      dissertation.


      Recommended literature:
      Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative Content Analysis in Practice. London: Sage. Chapter 1 (only pp.1-9) and Chapter 4 (pp.58-79).

      Boyatzis, R. E. (1998). Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Chapter 1 (only 1-16 until section Latent Versus Manifest
      Content Analysis) and Chapter 4 (29-53).

    • 11. Discourse Analysis (Sarah Komasová) - 26.4.

      This lecture will introduce the fundamentals of the rich and diverse group of discourse analyses. The students should get a deeper understanding of interpretative research and get some basic knowledge of the ways in which various types of discourses (textual, visual,…) could be studied in the area of international politics. By the end of this session, the assignment III will be introduced.


      Recommended literature:
      Milliken, Jennifer (1998) The Study of Discourse in IR: A Critique of Research and Methods. European Journal of IR, 5,2,

      van Dijk, Teun (1993) Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse and Society

      Neumann, Iver B. (2008) ‘Discourse analysis’, in Klotz, Audie and Deepa Prakash (eds.) Qualitative methods in International Relations: A pluralist guide. New York: Palgrave Macmillan:
      61-77

    • 12. Visual analysis (Jakub Tesař) - 3.5.

      Going beyond text-based approaches, this lecture will discuss visual methodologies in the study of international politics and security. By the end of this session the assignment IV will be introduced.


      Recommended literature:

      Bleiker, Roland. 2018. ‘Mapping Visual Global Politis.’ In Visual Global Politics, edited by Roland Bleiker, 1–29. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

      Schlag, Gabi. 2016. ‘Imagining Security: A Visual Methodology for Security Studies’. In Transformations of Security Studies: Dialogues, Diversity and Discipline, edited by Gabi Schlag, Julian Junk, and Christopher Daase, 173–89. London and New York: Routledge.

      Robinson NT. 2014. Have you won the war on terror? Military videogames and the state of American exceptionalism. Millennium - Journal of International Studies 43(2): 450-470

    • 13. Studying Practices of International Politics (Ondřej Ditrych) - 10.5.

      The lecture will introduce theoretical underpinning and the toolbox for the study of nonrepresentational practices and the making of common sense in international politics. It will situate explorations of these practices in the recent broader interest in micropolitical investigations.

       Recommended literature:

       Bueger, Christian. 2014. Pathways to Practice: Praxiography and International Politics. European Political Science Review 6(3): 383-406.

      Adler-Nissen, Rebecca and Vincent Pouliot. 2014. Power in Practice: Negotiating the International Intervention in Libya. European Journal of International Relations 20(4): 889-911.

       Solomon, Ty and Brent Steele. 2017. Micromoves in International Relations Theory. European Journal of International Relations 23(2): 267-291.