Home>>PS 856 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics
PS 856 Field Seminar in Comparative Politics
This seminar is designed to servefivegoals:
(1) To acquaint students with many of the leading theories within the field of comparative politics. Students will be made aware of the relevant literatures so that they will be able to connect their own research to broad disciplinary concerns. The weekly topics primarily center on dependent variables, and the readings are oriented toward leading theories (or proposed independent variables) that account for inter-polity or inter-temporal variations on the values of those dependent variables. However, in some cases readings focus on definitionsof key concepts.
(2) To provide examples of how best to prepare workfor future submission to journalsand top university publishers. Papers from the leading journals in the field and books from top publishers areincluded in the syllabus. Students shouldalso peruse these journals, section newsletters,and publisher lists on a regular basis,not only to keep up with trends in the field, but also to learn the styles and forms of contributions to comparative politics. This is the best way to learn about what Comparative Politics "is" and what the key debates in the subfield are.
(3) To introduce and makestudents aware ofthe implications of research strategies. The seminar will emphasize the point that methodologiesin the discipline are diverse, and that these methods, once chosen, have considerable import for both topic choice and the range of findings.
(4) To develop among students critical reading, writing,collaboration, and presentationskills. Students will be asked to explain core concepts from the readings to the class, and will collaboratively work on short memos and presentations based on the readings. In addition, students will write an integrated paper connectingreadings with their own research interests.
(5) To substantively introduce students to UW-Madison faculty in comparative politics. For more thanhalf of theweeks,a guest faculty member will join theclassdiscussion.