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INT'L SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE

SISU-306 Adv Int'l Studies Research Course Level: Undergraduate

Advanced International Studies Research (3) Topics vary by section. Application of research methods in international studies to an original research project. Rotating topics focus on a specific research methodology or a specific subject area. Methodologies covered include survey research methods, comparative case study analysis, game theory, discourse analysis, and ethnographic research methods. Areas include foreign policy, civil war and intervention, and nationalism. Usually Offered: fall, spring, and summer. Grading: A-F only. Prerequisite: SISU-206.

SISU-306-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis (3) This course guides students in the application of a broad range of qualitative research methodologies and methods. Specifically, the course emphasizes three significant styles of research in the social sciences: neopositivist small-n comparative case study; interpretive ethnography; and post-structural discourse analysis. Throughout the semester students are led through the research process to the completion of an independent original research project. There is special emphasis on the fields of international relations and comparative politics.
SISU-306-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Large Sample Data Analysis
Large Sample Data Analysis (3) This applied research course focuses on the Large N quantitative analysis approach, specifically, developing statistical models to explain and predict real world socio-political phenomena. Students acquire skills needed to solve common analytical quests and questions, including the acquisition, management, manipulation, estimation and interpretation of findings from large sample data, using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students also learn common techniques for displaying and communicating findings for professional and lay audiences, culminating in the development of an original research project. The course requires the use of SPSS (a statistical software program), although no particular expertise with math, statistical theory, or statistical software is required.
SISU-306-002
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Research
Instructional Method: Online. Case Study Research (3) After examining the foundations of case study research in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own research projects As students research and refine their individual projects, they also examine examples of case study research from various substantive and geographical areas in international studies research. Students produce a substantial independent, scholarly research project, including an original research paper and a presentation, that should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-003
Term: Summer 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Rsrch in Field of Intl Studies
Instructional Method: Online. Research in Global Field of International Studies (3) International studies is a broad interdisciplinary field, encompassing a variety of topics, approaches, and perspectives. Doing research that contributes to the field requires a clear sense of the connections between research questions, methodologies, and issues in the philosophy of social science. The course begins with a broad overview of the "science question" and how it has been addressed both philosophically and practically, before turning to a set of exercises through which students craft their research projects to ensure internal consistency and coherence between broad questions of methodology and specific operational issues. Restriction: Global Scholars.
SISU-306-001
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Olson Scholars Seminar
Olson Scholars Seminar (3) Specifically designed for Olson Scholars, in addition to providing each student with support and feedback for an original research project, this course provides an opportunity to reflect critically on theoretical questions about the relationship between social science and ethics. Students are expected to work more and more independently with their mentor, while class time is generally devoted to more theoretical questions. With the help of texts from antiquity through to the present, students discuss questions such as what kinds of things can we have knowledge about, how do we know what we know, what motivates/drives us as researchers and why this matters, what ethical assumptions are contained in our alternative approaches to research, and whether these can be transcended. Consideration of these broad questions helps students think more deeply and critically about their own role as a young researcher on the global stage. Throughout the semester there is also class time set aside for consultations, writing workshops, and student presentations of research.
SISU-306-002
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Sociocultural Field Research
Instructional Method: Hybrid. Sociocultural Field Research on Deeper Drivers of International Crises (3) International crises and conflicts that persist in varied sociocultural and geographic environments often seem resistant to peacebuilding and stabilization initiatives. They also present a significant challenge to conventional theories. This course provides students with the framework and methods to investigate twenty-first century conflicts and crises in the field, and to identify and analyze the underlying complex drivers of instability. Drawing from lessons of wars and instability over the past decade in regions around the world, the course focuses on a set of complex sociocultural factors and their dynamic interactions that are critical to understanding the deeper motivations, interest and intent of key conflict players. Using field-simulation workshops, secondary and primary source analysis, and guided independent research projects, students develop some core field investigation skills relevant both to international crisis research and to the design of more effective international policy.
SISU-306-003
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Foresight & Art of Strategy
Foresight and the Art of the Strategy (3) This course surveys methods for forecasting the future. From determining the likelihood of great power conflict in twenty-years to describing how disruptive technologies could revolutionize entire business sectors, practitioners look to scholars to help them do the impossible: predict the future. Students are introduced to Bayesian analysis, scenario development, methods for using historical insights, and quantitative methods used to describe how the past becomes the present and might evolve into alternative futures. Students work on a project for an external partner involving how to apply these foresight techniques to develop strategies for achieving a position of advantage.
SISU-306-004
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Lang, Symbols, Pract & Ident
Language, Symbols, Practices, and Identities in International Studies Research (3) This course focuses on the theory and application of discourse analysis -- the way in which our worlds are constructed and understood through language, symbols, practices, and identities, and the ways in which each of these elements structures politics and societies--in international studies research. After examining the evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own independent research projects. As students research and refine their individual projects, the class also examines examples of discourse analysis drawn from diverse substantive and geographical areas in international studies research. Students also receive training in NVivo qualitative analysis software and are required to use this software as part of their final research project. Each student produces a full independent, scholarly research project, including an original research paper and a presentation, that should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-006
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Hist Research in Int'l Studies
Historical Research in International Studies (3) This course introduces modes of historical research in international studies that emphasize the use of primary sources. There are multiple such modes, from the longstanding traditions of diplomatic history and historical case studies, to contemporary research agendas in international history and history of international thought. Students are introduced to opportunities, challenges, and choices involved in accessing and interpreting a variety of primary sources, from sources available online, to those available at the library, to archival materials. The course highlights methodological pluralism in the way primary sources are used, examining examples of historical research employing both interpretive and neo-positivist methodologies. As students learn about the varieties of primary sources, of traditions and agendas in historical research, and of methodologies, they develop, situate in the literature, and undertake a methodologically self-reflective research project of their own. Students produce an independent piece of historical research that could be a basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-007
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Lang, Symbols, Pract & Ident
Language, Symbols, Practices, and Identities in International Studies Research (3) This course focuses on the theory and application of discourse analysis--the way in which our worlds are constructed and understood through language, symbols, practices, and identities, and the ways in which each of these elements structures politics and societies--in international studies research. After examining the evolution of discourse analysis in the social sciences, students develop a research question, literature review, and research design for their own independent research projects. As students research and refine their individual projects, the class also examines examples of discourse analysis drawn from diverse substantive and geographical areas in international studies research. Students also receive training in NVivo qualitative analysis software and are required to use this software as part of their final research project. Each student produces a full independent, scholarly research project, including an original research paper and a presentation, that should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-008
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Researching Islam
Researching Islam: Research Methodology in a Time of Globalized Terror (3) After the events on 9/11 and the beginning of the global war on terror, the need to understand the Muslim world became more urgent than ever. Many questions emerged among the academic community, including what the Islamic standpoint is on violence and its justification; what Islamic traditions are most promising for support of peacemaking; what are the most important issues and forces behind contemporary Islamic activism; and how Muslims are engaging with the globalized world. Many understood, especially academics and policymakers, the need to understand Muslim societies beyond the caricatures and superficial level too often employed in the media. While the understanding of Muslim societies is needed, it is first necessary to understand how to conduct in-depth research in the field among these societies to be able to answer more substantive research questions. In this course students examine Muslim culture and customs and the best approaches towards fieldwork methodology among Muslim societies, looking at interview methods, use of surveys, and discourse analysis. Students study the methods of conducting ethnography in Muslim communities, the various challenges of doing so and how to interpret the findings, and use these skills to develop and conduct a research project of their own.
SISU-306-009
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Large Sample Data Analysis
Large Sample Data Analysis (3) This applied research course focuses on the Large N quantitative analysis approach, specifically, developing statistical models to explain and predict real world socio-political phenomena. Students acquire skills needed to solve common analytical quests and questions, including the acquisition, management, manipulation, estimation and interpretation of findings from large sample data, using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Students also learn common techniques for displaying and communicating findings for professional and lay audiences, culminating in the development of an original research project. The course requires the use of SPSS (a statistical software program), although no particular expertise with math, statistical theory, or statistical software is required.
SISU-306-010
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: The Scholar as Detective
The Scholar as Detective: How to Find and Analyze the Best Sources (3) This course teaches students how to formulate a qualitative research project, find and evaluate the most interesting and exciting relevant primary sources, and analyze those sources as they produce an original research project. The course begins with a discussion of the special and unique advantages of qualitative methods and historical analysis, especially case studies and process-tracing. Students then learn how to bring out their inner detective by using libraries, physical archives such as the National Archives in College Park, MD, digital archives, interviews, personal papers, oral histories, memoirs, and more. The course also includes tutorials on how to do a Freedom of Information request, the ethics of research and formal steps such as institutional review board (IRB) approval, and how to organize and protect information. The final research project demonstrates the student's ability to find new material, use it to change how we think about a historical event, and explain what that means for how we think about the nature of politics.
SISU-306-011
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Jay Z & Historical Biography
Jay Z and the Practice of Historical Biography (3) This course looks at biography as a form of historical writing, using Jay Z as a point of departure. The course examines how biography shapes our historical understanding as well as the people and institutions of the past. Questions explored include how does biography reveal the historical circumstances of the subject's life to give readers a broader understanding of the historical context of that life and the era in which the subject lived; how effectively can contemporary readers explore the past through the prism of one person's life; and what we seek to learn about a person in a biography, and why. Students produce an independent paper on an individual of their own choosing who is significant to the field of international studies research.
SISU-306-013
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Mod World Order in Hist Contxt
Modern World Order in Historical Context (3) Global in scope and comparative in its research approach, this course provides students with the opportunity to use qualitative research methods in the social sciences, such as historiography, ethnography, case studies, counterfactuals, discourse analysis, and archival research. The course further acquaints students with the nature of political science as an intellectual enterprise that is soundly grounded in a broader historical context.
SISU-306-014
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Methods
Case Study Methods (3) This course surveys the various techniques associated with small-n neo-positivist research in international studies. These include process tracing, congruence methods, elite interviewing, historiography, and more. Ultimately, students are trained to design and execute case study research. Thus, the course is practice-based, with fewer lectures and more guided activities. Students complete their own original case study research on a topic of their choosing.
SISU-306-015
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Statistical Program Evaluation
Statistical Program Evaluation: Policies that Work? (3) There is no shortage of policy prescriptions for addressing important problems from climate change to poverty, but how do we know which ideas work best or at all? This course equips students to evaluate policies using statistical methods from economics. Students learn how data are collected and how data are manipulated and summarized using statistical software such as Stata and R. The course examines several research designs for estimating the causal effect of a policy, including randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity, and difference-in-differences. Students apply these descriptive and causal tools by replicating and extending existing research or by composing original research.
SISU-306-016
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Experimental Research Methods
Experimental Research Methods (3) This course is an in-depth treatment of experimental methods, especially in complex research environments. Lab experiments, survey experiments, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are increasingly common research tools, and students learn to critically evaluate experimental methods and to design their own. The course reviews the experimental design framework, its benefits and limitations, with application to real-world analyses. Students develop their own research design using experimental methods, familiarize themselves with experimental programming software, work towards the implementation of their experiment, and analyze experimental data.
SISU-306-017
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Quant Methods/Globalization
Quantitative Methods for Studying Globalization (3) This course introduces students to quantitative methods relevant to the vast and contentious topic of globalization. They learn how to understand and operationalize research models for studying the rise of international trade, the movements of migrants across countries, international efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emission, and other topics related to the global economy. The course starts with an introduction to the statistical methods for studying such flows, exposing students to data collection and analysis, as well as how to use the most widely used statistical software, Stata. Students complete a research paper on a topic related to globalization to operationalize these skills.
SISU-306-018
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Americans in the Middle East
Americans in the Middle East (3) This course studies the cumulative effect of American encounters with the peoples of the Middle East since the nineteenth century. The course explores how "ways of knowing" are shaped by specific groups with particular interests and influenced by their predecessors, beginning with Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates, and building toward a historical perspective on why the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Students also build their understanding of the other side of these encounters to comprehend how Arabs have responded to American interventions in the region. For their final paper, students research the personal papers of an American traveler at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.
SISU-306-019
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Case Study Resrch Meth & Tech
Case Study Research Methodology and Techniques (3) This course surveys key elements of small-n research. It includes an in-depth look at process tracing, structured, focused comparison, and other particular techniques that have had a salient association with case studies in international relations and sub-areas such as diplomatic history, foreign policy, global political economy, etc. As the course imparts the knowledge and hands-on training for students to undertake rigorous research, it emphasizes practical, guided activity, centrally the writing and re-writing of draft studies. Students gain proficiency in selecting cases of interest and carrying out their own original lines of case study research. Students produce a substantial independent, scholarly research project, including an original research paper and a presentation, that should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, and even potential publication.
SISU-306-020
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Rsrch & Analysis of Concepts
Research and Analysis of Concepts in International Relations (3) This course focuses on the practice of interpretivist research that studies the use of certain concepts or conceptual categories in international relations. This method can be applied to a broad range of entities and contexts. Analysis of concepts consists of specifying, with empirical precision, associations that tie concepts with particular policy pathways and action, accounting for outcomes through the privileging of particular concepts and the marginalization of others. Each student develops a research question, situates that question in the literature, and then articulates a data collection procedure, gathers the data, and carries out their analysis.
SISU-306-021
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis (3) This course guides students in the application of a broad range of qualitative research methodologies and methods. Specifically, this course emphasizes three significant styles of research in the social sciences: neopositivist small-n comparative case study; interpretive ethnography; and post-structural discourse analysis. Throughout the semester students are led through the research process to the completion of an independent original research project. There is special emphasis on the fields of international relations and comparative politics.
SISU-306-023
Term: Spring 2019 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Climate Policy Analysis
Climate Policy Analysis (3) This course introduces students to the use of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to analyze climate policies. IAMs integrate models of the physical environment with socio-economic models to study the effects of climate change and climate policies. These models are implemented in various kinds of computer software. Focusing mainly on GCAM (Global Change Assessment Model), students learn to set up these computer-based models to evaluate particular policies and to critically interpret the quantitative data that the models produce. Students complete and present an independent scholarly research project, which should serve as the basis for future research, conference presentations, or publication.