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Program Type: 
Non Thesis
Course Code: 
FEAS 501
Course Type: 
Course Language: 
Course Coordinator: 
Course Objectives: 

The course aims to provide graduate students with advanced skills in political science methods so that they will be able to evaluate existing literature more critically. By underlining the variety of methodological alternatives, another purpose of the course is to enable students to make the appropriate methodological choice that best fits to their research interest.

Course Content: 

We will start with (1) an overview of key issues in the philosophy of social science, we will then move onto issues of (2) formulating a research question, (3) conducting literature review, and (4) constructing a theoretical framework.  Then we shall examine (5) different methods of data collection and analysis. Application of research techniques will establish particular focus of the course, which we will explore through the examination of actual research projects. Finally, the course will entail the students developing their own research proposals towards their dissertation in the doctoral program

Teaching Methods: 
1: Lecture, 2: Discussion based lecture, 3: Case study, 4: Small group work, 5: Seminar, 6: Group work, 7: Research paper, 8: Oral presentation/exam, 9: Survey, 10: Panel, 11: Guest speaker, 12: Activities within a Student Body or Research Project.
Assessment Methods: 
A: Exam, B: Homework, C: Oral exam or presentation, D: Discussion.

Vertical Tabs

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Program

Learning Outcomes

Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
On successful completion of this course, and having completed the required reading and activities, students should be able to:
Outline stages of the research process. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Formulate research questions including theoretical propositions or hypotheses. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Conduct a literature review of the concepts and theories related to their research questions.  1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Gather qualitative and quantitative data through one of the following methods: ethnography and participant observation, interviewing and focus group, survey, and archival work.  1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Classify and present qualitative or quantitative data within an analytical frame including experimental research, comparative research, textual analysis, and statistical analysis. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Interpret limits and implications of their research. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Prepare a well-framed research proposal. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D
Employ highest ethical standards throughout the research process. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 A, B, D

Course Flow

Week Topics Study Materials
1 Introduction: Research Ethics Malici and Smith (2013): 188-200.
2 Philosophy of Social and Political Sciences Halperin and Heath (2012): 25-100.

Fuller (2003): 18-42.  

3 Foundations of Political Science Research Malici and Smith (2013): 1-12.

Erozan and Turan (2004): 359-63.

4 Structuring of Inquiry in Political Science Malici and Smith (2013): 13-24.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 101-182.

Gerring (1999): 357-399.

5 Case Study and the Comparative Method Malici and Smith (2013): 25-40.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 202-229.

Lijphart (1971): 682-93.

6 Field Research Malici and Smith (2013): 41-56.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 287-308.

Tuğal (2006): 245-273.

7 Interviewing and Focus Group Malici and Smith (2013): 57-75.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 253-286.

Thalhammer (2001): 493-520.

8 Statistical Research Malici and Smith (2013): 76-92.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 338-366.

King (1986): 666-87.

9 Survey Research Malici and Smith (2013): 93-110.

Halperin and Heath(2012): 230-252.

Çarkoğlu and Toprak (2006). 

10 Secondary Data Analysis Malici and Smith (2013): 111-132.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 366-418.

Yeşilada and Noordijk (2010): 9-27.

11 Textual Analysis Malici and Smith (2013): 133-148.

Halperin and Heath (2012): 309-337.

Dinçşahin (2012): 618-640.

12 Political Historiography Carr (2001).

Lustick (1996): 605-18.

Dinçşahin and Goodwin (2011): 843-862.

13 Experimental Research Malici and Smith (2013): 149-167.

Smith et al. (2005): 115-134.

Ben-Nun Bloom and Arıkan (2012)

14 Formal Modeling Malici and Smith (2013): 168-187.

Walker and Schafer (2007): 747-776.

Fiorina (1977): 601-675.


Recommended Sources

Textbook Malici, Akan and Elizabeth S. Smith, (2013) Political Science Research in Practice, (New York: Routledge).

Halperin, Sandra and Oliver Heath (2012) Political Research: Methods and Practical Skills (Oxford University Press).

Additional Resources













Additional Resources




















Fuller, Steve (2003) Kuhn vs. Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science (Cambridge: Icon Books), 18-42.

Erozan, Boğaç and İlter Turan (2004) “The Development of Political Science in Turkey,” Political Science and Politics, 37(2): 359-63.

Gerring, J. (1999) “What Makes a Concept Good? A Criterial Framework for Understanding Concept Formation in the Social Sciences,” Polity, 31 (3): 357-399.

Lijphart, A. (1971) “Comparative Politics and Comparative Method,” American Political Science Review, 65(3): 682-93.

Tuğal, Cihan (2006) “The Appeal of Islamic Politics: Ritual and Dialogue in a Poor District of Turkey, Sociological Quarterly, 47 (2): 245-273.

Thalhammer, Kristina (2001) “I’ll take the High Road: Pathways to Human Rights Activism in Authoritarian Argentina,” Political Psychology, 22 (3): 493-520.

King, Gary (1986) “How Not to Lie with Statistics: Avoiding Common Mistakes in Quantitative Political Science,” American Journal of Political Science, 30 (3): 666-87.

Çarkoğlu, Ali and Binnaz Toprak (2006) Türkiye’de Din, Toplum ve Siyaset [Religion, Society and Politics in Turkey], (İstanbul: TESEV). 

Yeşilada, Birol A. and Peter Noordijk (2010), “Changing Values in Turkey: Religiosity and Tolerance in Comparative Perspective,” Turkish Studies, 11 (1): 9-27.

Dinçşahin, Ş. (2012) “A Symptomatic Analysis of Justice and Development Party’s Populism in Turkey: 207-2010,” Government and Opposition, 47 (4): 618-640.

Carr, E.H. (2001) What is History (New York: Palgrave).

Lustick, Ian S. (1996) “History, Historiography and Political Science: Multiple Historical Records, and the Problem of Selection Bias,” American Political Science Review, 90 (3): 605-18.

Dinçşahin, Şakir and Stephen Goodwin (2011) "Towards an Encompassing Perspective on Nationalism: The Case of Jews in Turkey during Second World War, 1939-45," Nations and Nationalism, 17 (4): 843-862.

Smith, Elizabeth; Powers, Ashleigh Smith; and Gus Suarez (2005) “If Bill Clinton Were a Women: The Effectiveness of Male and Female Politicians’ Account Strategies Following Alleged Trangressions,” Political Psychology, 26(1): 115-134.

Ben-Nun Bloom, Pazit and Gizem Arıkan (2012) “Priming Religious Belief and Religious Social Behavior Affects Support for Democracy,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research,

Walker, S. and M. Schafer (2007) “Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as Cultural Icons of US Foreign Policy,” Political Psychology, 28: 747-776.

Fiorina, Morris P. (1977) “An Outline for a Model of Party Choice,” American Journal of Political Science, 21: 601-675.

Material Sharing

Documents Required readings and documents can be found both in the Reserve section of the library and in the bookstore.
Assignments Handouts explaining the assignments will be given in class.
Exams Exams will be given in class.


Weekly Homework 7 .10
Total   70
Total   100

Course’s Contribution to Program

No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5  
1 To demonstrate the ability to specialize and expand knowledge in the fields of political science, international relations, comparative politics, Turkish politics and foreign policy.         X  
2 The ability to comprehend the interdisciplinary quality of the political science and international relations discipline.       X    
3 A command of basic research models and approaches of political science and international relations discipline and the ability to apply them in academic research and project design.         X  
4 Having the ability to assess and interpret the different political and societal systems in the Middle East with an interdisciplinary approach.       X    
5 Having a command of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods and abiding by the highest levels of academic and research ethics.         X  
6 The ability to present and debate an issue that requires specialization in the field of political science and international relations. The ability to discuss this issue within an intellectual framework, and the ability to express oneself in a professional and academic manner.       X    
7 The ability to analyze and critically evaluate basic research models, approaches and intellectual traditions in the field of political science, international relations.         X  
8 The ability to utilize academic writing and presentation skills to projects, dissertations and articles.         X  
9 Having advanced reading, writing, comprehension and speaking skills in the English language.       X    
10 Having the ability to apply knowledge of political science and international relations discipline to information technologies and traditional tools so as to produce sound solutions to problems.         X  
11 Possessing experience and social skills necessary for employment in the public and private sectors and/or being admitted to a competitive Ph.D. program.       X    
12 Having empathy towards diverse and differing communities, which will facilitate conducing teamwork at local as well as global platforms.       X    
13 Having competency of comprehending and interpreting local and global issues through information exchange with international academics and students.       X    


Activities Quantity Duration
Course Duration (Including the exam week: 16x Total course hours) 16 3 48
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice) 15 4 60
Homework 7 10 70
Final examination 1 22 22
Total Work Load     200
Total Work Load / 25 (h)     8
ECTS Credit of the Course     8