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by | Nov 1, 2022 | Political science


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Political Theory as Political Science Assignments (3 assignments, 5% of grade each; 15% of grade total)
You will write 3 short assignments during the semester. These assignments show you the relevancy of political theory in political science. Each assignment should be 2-3 pages in length, 12-point font, Times New Roman (or similar font), normal margins, double-spaced. Headings, title pages, figures, etc. do not count towards page count.
– Available theorists for the project: J.S. Mill, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Niccolo Machiavelli
For these assignments you will choose 1 theorist and show how they could inform your own independent research project. We will have a chance to practice this in class together on 8/29. You will complete this assignment in 3 stages:
Stage 1: Picking a question in political theory
Consider the theorist we covered. What questions does the theory inspire? Write a short and succinct summary of the theorist in question (about 1 HEFTY paragraph). Refer to the text and use citations appropriately. Sample questions inspired by the theorist are as follows:
What is the purpose of human existence? What is the role of politics and government in fulfilling that purpose
What is justice? What does a perfectly just society look like?
What is the purpose of civic engagement? How are people encouraged to participate in civil life?
What are rights? How do we know they are rights? How are they protected and guaranteed?
What is corruption? Where is it most prominent in government?
What is the definition of a citizen?
Stage 2: Formulating an empirical design
After you have summarized the theorists approach to a question, operationalize this into an empirical study. You can formulate either a quantitative or qualitative study. Identify the following:
A dependent variable (the object of study, e.g. corruption, justice, citizenship). Do not be abstract and theoretical here. Identify an appropriate measure of corruption, justice, or citizenship. Will you use data sets [which data sets]? Historical analysis of documents [which documents]? Interviews [who will be interview]?
At least 2 independent variables (factors that impact the dependent variable). You want to choose measurable variables (e.g. race, education, nationality, gender, regime, civil war, etc).
Formulate a hypothesis for each independent variables. Each project will have at least 2 hypothesis.
Stage 3: Justifications
Finally, you will justify WHY you have chosen the specific variables and how this relates to your theorist (about one HEFTY paragraph). You will also justify WHY you have hypothesized the relationships you have chosen.
Questions about how to format these papers can be addressed individually during scheduled office hours or via email (which I highly recommend).
Late submissions will incur a 2-point penalty per day. Unexcused late submissions will not be accepted 7 days after the due date.


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