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BMET 23A01 - ‘Populist Radical Right voting in Europe': quantitative political analysis workshop

Type d'enseignement : Workshop

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Pre-requisite

aucun

Course Description

The electoral success of Populist Radical Right (PRR) parties is one of the most significant political phenomena in Europe since the mid-1980s, and one of the most-studied in the academic literature. There is an important volume of research dealing with both the theoretical and empirical aspects of the PRR. As these parties continue to gain electoral traction in Europe, this workshop will deal with both the conceptual and methodological aspects of PRR research, thus allowing students to engage with crucial contemporary political issues at national, European and international level, in relation to their major in ‘Politics & Government'. With a focus on multidisciplinary empirical work, this workshop will provide students with an overview of the necessary conceptual and methodological tools to critically assess the PRR phenomenon. The workshop is designed to introduce students to data-driven political analysis. A strong emphasis will be placed on the diversity of methods and research objectives, employing examples from the current literature on PRR parties. The aim is to help students advance their capacity to understand political phenomena such as the development of the PRR in all their complexity. In doing so, students will also gain practical experience and learn ‘real world' technical skills, and they will familiarise themselves with research methods in the field of comparative electoral and party politics. The workshop will provide students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to use quantitative tools and software for data collection, management and analysis, applied to the study of the PRR. By the end of the workshop, students will be able to apply these methods and tools to their own research questions and interests. The workshop aims to provide a general pathway to data-driven analysis, and there are no particular mathematical, statistical or IT prerequisite skills.

Teachers

IVALDI, Gilles (Chargé de recherche)

Pedagogical format

The electoral success of Populist Radical Right (PRR) parties is one of the most significant political phenomena in Europe since the mid-1980s, and one of the most-studied in the academic literature. There is an important volume of research dealing with both the theoretical and empirical aspects of the PRR. As these parties continue to gain electoral traction in Europe, this workshop will deal with both the conceptual and methodological aspects of PRR research, thus allowing students to engage with crucial contemporary political issues at national, European and international level, in relation to their major in ‘Politics & Government'. With a focus on multidisciplinary empirical work, this workshop will provide students with an overview of the necessary conceptual and methodological tools to critically assess the PRR phenomenon. The workshop is designed to introduce students to data-driven political analysis. A strong emphasis will be placed on the diversity of methods and research objectives, employing examples from the current literature on PRR parties. The aim is to help students advance their capacity to understand political phenomena such as the development of the PRR in all their complexity. In doing so, students will also gain practical experience and learn ‘real world' technical skills, and they will familiarise themselves with research methods in the field of comparative electoral and party politics. The workshop will provide students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to use quantitative tools and software for data collection, management and analysis, applied to the study of the PRR. By the end of the workshop, students will be able to apply these methods and tools to their own research questions and interests. The workshop aims to provide a general pathway to data-driven analysis, and there are no particular mathematical, statistical or IT prerequisite skills.

Course validation

Students will be evaluated on the basis of their performances as follows: 10% Class activities, participation and enthusiasm 30% Written individual take-home assignment 60% Group research project The written individual take-home assignment will be worth 30% of the total grade and will consist of a practical case-study based on the skills learned in the workshop. The topic of the assignment will be provided by the workshop's professor around session #8. The group research project will account for 60% of the final grade. The project will provide students with the opportunity to use real data and methods learned during the workshop to answer a political question that they are interested in. During the course of the workshop, students will be asked to identify a research question, collect data and set up a database for analytical purposes. The project will consist of a 15-20 page write up of the research, its methods and main findings, as well as the students' own reflection on problems they may have encountered in the course of their study. Students will work in groups of 2 or 3, emphasizing the importance of developing a capacity to work collaboratively in small groups.

Required reading

  • Agresti, Alan and Barbara Finlay. Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences. Pearson Education Limited. 2014
  • Arzheimer, Kai, Jocelyn Evans and Michael S. Lewis-Beck (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour. Sage Publications Ltd. 2017
  • Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., Henry E. Brady, and David Collier (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. Oxford University Press. 2008
  • Gerring, George: Case Study Research. Principles and Practice, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press. 2016
  • Heinisch, Reinhard C., Christina Holtz-Bacha and Oscar Mazzoleni (eds.). Political Populism: A Handbook (International Studies on Populism) Nomos. 2017

Additional required reading

  • Imai, Kosuke. A First Course in Quantitative Social Science. Princeton University Press. 2018
  • Monogan, James E. Political Analysis Using R. Springer International Publishing. 2015
  • Mudde, Cas (ed.) The Populist Radical Right. A Reader. Routledge. 2017
  • Rydgren, Jens (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right. Oxford University Press. 2018