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The course is an introduction to politics in a globalised world, with a focus on how political science tries to understand and explain cross-country and cross-time differences. The course will begin by introducing students to some of the main empirical variations in political behaviour, political institutions, and outcomes across the world, focusing mainly on democratic and partially democratic countries (in both the developed and developing world), and introducing students to some of the basic theoretical ideas and research methods in political science. Each subsequent week will be devoted to a substantive topic, where a more detailed analysis of political behaviour, political institutions, or political outcomes will be presented and various theoretical explanations will be assessed. Most weeks will involve an interactive element. For example, students will be required to 'adopt a country', from the range of democratic or partially democratic countries across the world (which cannot be a student's home country). The aim is for a student to become an expert on the political behaviour, institutions and outcomes in his or her adopted country, particularly to provide material and knowledge for class discussions.

  1.3.2 Clarity in expression is similarly important to Political Science writing.

2. Alwaysremember that the essay is an academic mode of discourse. Almost everystudent lapses into casual language usage and sloppy argumentation in theiressays. Do not use the kind of words, phrases and arguments that you would usein other contexts, such as e-mail, your personal journal, conversations withfriends, journalistic articles or an address to a political rally. In politicaltheory writing, the more you strike a thoughtful and scholarly tone, the moreyour reader will trust your judgment.


Writing a Political Science Essay - Georgetown University

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How can Weber's arguments for his ultimate values be reconciled with the view that value-free analysis can be conducted only after a value or purpose has been established? Lassman and Speirs, in their introduction to Weber: Political Writings, provide the answer. "Although Weber believed that values could not be given any form of `ultimate' foundation, it was possible and indeed necessary" to argue for them because "the tensions between competing values are essential in order to prevent cultural stagnation." Even though Lassman and Speirs do not explain precisely how it is possible to put forth objective arguments supporting subjective values while maintaining a commitment to truth, they do allude to one solution: Weber's "scholarly investigations and political essays have the purpose of making clear, in an objective manner as possible, the realities and possibilities given in any particular situation."


An Introduction to Writing in Political Science

Max Weber thought that "statements of fact are one thing, statements of value another, and any confusing of the two is impermissible," Ralf Dahrendorf writes in his essay "Max Weber and Modern Social Science," acknowledging that Weber clarified the difference between pronouncements of fact and of value. Although Dahrendorf goes on to note the ambiguities in Weber's writings between factual analysis and value-influenced pronouncements, he stops short of offering an explanation for them other than to say that Weber, being human, could not always live with his own demands for objectivity. Indeed, Dahrendorf leaves unclear exactly what Weber's view of objectivity was. More specifically, Dahrendorf does not venture to lay out a detailed explanation of whether Weber believed that the social scientist could eliminate the influence of values from the analysis of facts.

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Annotated Bibliography, History and Political Science
Introduction to Humanities
Topic: Compare the culture that produced the Venus de Willendorf with the culture that produces the Barbie doll. What common themes do you see in the Paleolithic culture that we share or have rejected in modern culture? Consider whether we worship Barbie, and if so, how? Consider society’s view of women in the Barbie era compared to that which the artifactual record suggests was the view of Paleolithic women.

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1.3 Characteristics of Writing Especially Valued in Political Science


Although the following qualities of writing are valued across many disciplines, Political Science assignments and faculty stress these characteristics with particular emphasis.