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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2021/2022

Modern Political Science

Type: Elective course (Political Science)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 4 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Instructors: Ekim Arbatli, Ilya Gorelskiy, Dina Rosenberg
Language: English
ECTS credits: 7
Contact hours: 64

Course Syllabus


The goal of this course is to introduce to students the latest mainstream works from the leading international journals in Political Science and Comparative Political Economy. Why some countries are stuck in technological backwardness, while others prosper? Why in some countries people enjoy longer and healthier lives? What is the role of political institutions in answering these questions? What is the political economy of the US Congress’ organization? Are bureaucrats motivated by ideology or career concerns? Also, I will introduce today’s hot topics in Political Science and tie them to the current events. What role does Internet play in contemporary social movements? Does social media help overcome collective action problem or just disseminate more information? Who are trolls and how they manipulate public opinion? Why far rights are gaining their momentum? Why did “the efficient secret” of the UK Parliament disappear when it came to Brexit? Along answering these theoretical questions, we will touch upon the empirical concerns (endogeneity problems, null-hypothesis testing in frequentist models) and their possible solutions: instrumental variables, research discontinuity design, Bayesian analysis).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce to students the latest mainstream works from the leading international journals in Political Science and Comparative Political Economy.
  • Familiarize students with the current trends in political science referring to key publications of recent years in academic journals which are most in demand among the professional community of political scientists.
  • Develop students' critical thinking skills, it introduces them modern research methods (instrumental variables, research discontinuity design, Bayesian statistics), and also serves the purpose of forming students' standards of modern research work in the field of political science.
  • The proposed forms of knowledge control are also aimed at improving the skills of writing critical referee reports based on the arguments presented in the articles under consideration.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students should apply acquired knowledge about research methods and techniques to their own works.
  • Students should be able to build their own researches in accordance with the considered methodological requirements.
  • Students should be able to Identify the ideas and arguments presented in modern political science literature and take a critical approach to their analysis.
  • Students should have critical thinking skills and the skills of writing their own researches, taking into account the criteria considered during the course.
  • Students should have Working skills with modern political science literature in English.
  • Students should know actual trends in the field of political science, key concepts and ideas behind them.
  • Students should know modern research methods used by political scientists.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Political Economy of Pandemics
  • Political Parties and Right-Wing Populism
  • Media and Politics. Propaganda. Instrumental Variable
  • Politics and Social Media. Text as data.
  • Revolutions, Protests and the Role of Technology
  • Interest Groups and Social Movements. BLM.
  • Delegation of power
  • Bureaucracy
  • Historical legacies
  • Women empowerment? Survey experiments
  • Democratic backsliding and the authoritarian wave
  • Political polarization
  • Military coups and coup-proofing
  • The politics of natural resources
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Participation
    For each seminar, students are offered literature, which should be carefully read and prepared in detail to discuss.
  • non-blocking Tests
  • non-blocking Summary
    The deadline for submitting the summary is 1st of December 2021 (23:59:59). Deadline extension options: not provided.
  • non-blocking Referee Reports (2)
    The deadline for submitting the first referee report is the 1st of November 2021 (23:59:59); the second referee report – the 10th of December 2021 (23:59:59). Deadline extension options: not provided.
  • non-blocking Research Project
    The deadline for submitting the research project is 17th of December 2020 (23:59:59). Deadline extension options: not provided.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 2nd module
    0.15 * Summary + 0.3 * Research Project + 0.3 * Referee Reports (2) + 0.2 * Participation + 0.05 * Tests


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Alesina, A., Giuliano, P., & Nunn, N. (2013). On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjt005
  • Allyson L. Benton, & Andrew Q. Philips. (2020). Does the @realDonaldTrump Really Matter to Financial Markets? American Journal of Political Science, 1, 169. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12491
  • Andrei Markevich, & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. (2017). The Economic Effects of the Abolition of Serfdom: Evidence from the Russian Empire. Working Papers.
  • Ansolabehere, S., Snyder, J., & de Figueiredo, J. (2005). Why Is There So Little Money In US Elections?
  • BEATH, A., CHRISTIA, F., & ENIKOLOPOV, R. (2013). Empowering Women through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055413000270
  • Berk, J. B., Harvey, C. R., & Hirshleifer, D. (2017). How to Write an Effective Referee Report and Improve the Scientific Review Process.
  • Hix, S., Hoyland, B., & Vivyan, N. (2007). From doves to hawks: a spatial analysis of voting in the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, 1997-2007. LSE Research Online Documents on Economics.
  • Junyan Jiang. (2018). Making Bureaucracy Work: Patronage Networks, Performance Incentives, and Economic Development in China. American Journal of Political Science, 4, 982. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12394
  • Kirsten Cornelson, & Boriana Miloucheva. (2020). Political polarization, social fragmentation, and cooperation during a pandemic. Working Papers.
  • KUNG, J. K.-S., & CHEN, S. (2011). The Tragedy of the Nomenklatura: Career Incentives and Political Radicalism during China’s Great Leap Famine. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055410000626
  • Larson, J. M., Nagler, J., Ronen, J., & Tucker, J. A. (2019). Social Networks and Protest Participation: Evidence from 130 Million Twitter Users. American Journal of Political Science (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), 63(3), 690–705. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12436
  • Principles of comparative politics, Clark, W. R., 2013
  • Reuter, O. J., & Robertson, G. B. (2012). Subnational Appointments in Authoritarian Regimes: Evidence from Russian Gubernatorial Appointments. Journal of Politics, 74(4), 1023–1037. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022381612000631
  • Rosenfeld, B. (2017). Reevaluating the Middle-Class Protest Paradigm: A Case-Control Study of Democratic Protest Coalitions in Russia. American Political Science Review, 4, 637.
  • Siroky, L. B. (2012). Revenge of the Radical Right: Why Minority Accommodation Mobilizes Extremist Voting.
  • STEUNENBERG, B. (1997). Courts, Cabinet and Coalition Parties: The Politics of Euthanasia in a Parliamentary Setting. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007123497000264
  • Teele, D. L., Kalla, J., & Rosenbluth, F. (2018). The Ties That Double Bind: Social Roles and Women’s Underrepresentation in Politics. American Political Science Review, 3, 525.
  • WUTTKE, A., SCHIMPF, C., & SCHOEN, H. (2020). When the Whole Is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: On the Conceptualization and Measurement of Populist Attitudes and Other Multidimensional Constructs. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055419000807

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Avinash Dixit. (2008). Democracy, Autocracy, and Bureaucracy.
  • Becker, G. S. (1983). A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence. https://doi.org/10.2307/1886017
  • Becker, G. S., & Lewis, H. G. (1973). On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children. Journal of Political Economy, 81(2), S279. https://doi.org/10.1086/260166
  • Bernhard, W. (1998). A Political Explanation of Variations in Central Bank Independence. American Political Science Review, 02, 311.
  • Boffa, F., Piolatto, A., & Ponzetto, G. A. M. (2016). Political centralization and government accountability.
  • Caramani, D. (2017). Will vs. Reason: The Populist and Technocratic Forms of Political Representation and Their Critique to Party Government. American Political Science Review, 1, 54.
  • Charnysh, V. (2015). Historical legacies of interethnic competition : anti-Semitism and the EU referendum in Poland. Comparative Political Studies, 48(13), 1711–1745. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414015598921
  • Dahl, R. A. (1989). Who Governs? : Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=52913
  • Duflo, E. (2012). Women Empowerment and Economic Development. Journal of Economic Literature, 50(4), 1051–1079. https://doi.org/10.1257/jel.50.4.1051
  • GAILMARD, S. (2017). Building a New Imperial State: The Strategic Foundations of Separation of Powers in America. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055417000235
  • Gibson, J. L., Caldeira, G. A., & Baird, V. A. (1998). On the Legitimacy of National High Courts. American Political Science Review, 02, 343.
  • Hongbin Li, & Li-an Zhou. (2004). Journal of Public Economics Forthcoming Political Turnover and Economic Performance: The Incentive Role of Personnel Control in China ∗.
  • Hunt, S., & Posa, C. (2001). Women Waging Peace. Foreign Policy, 124, 38. https://doi.org/10.2307/3183189
  • Jones, B. T., & Mattiacci, E. (2017). A Manifesto, in 140 Characters or Fewer: Social Media as a Tool of Rebel Diplomacy. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007123416000612
  • Jörg L. Spenkuch, & Philipp Tillmann. (2018). Elite Influence? Religion and the Electoral Success of the Nazis. American Journal of Political Science, (1), 19. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12328
  • KING, G., PAN, J., & ROBERTS, M. E. (2013). How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055413000014
  • Noam Lupu, & Leonid Peisakhin. (2017). The Legacy of Political Violence across Generations. American Journal of Political Science, (4), 836. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12327
  • Qian, Y., & Xu, C. (1998). Innovation and Bureaucracy Under Soft and Hard Budget Constraints. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-937X.00039
  • Sergei Guriev, Nikita Melnikov, & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. (2019). 3G Internet and Confidence in Government. Sciences Po Publications.
  • STEINERT-THRELKELD, Z. C. (2017). Spontaneous Collective Action: Peripheral Mobilization During the Arab Spring. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055416000769
  • Stone, L., He, D., Lehnstaedt, S., & Artzy-Randrup, Y. (2020). Extraordinary curtailment of massive typhus epidemic in the Warsaw Ghetto. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc0927
  • The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism. (2005). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.8D3B9D7A
  • Thies, C. G., & Porche, S. (2007). The Political Economy of Agricultural Protection. Journal of Politics, 69(1), 116–127. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00498.x
  • Who leads? Who follows? Measuring issue attention and agenda setting by legislators and the mass public using social media data. (2019). American Political Science Review, 113(4), 883–901. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055419000352
  • Wolfsfeld, G., Segev, E., & Sheafer, T. (2012). The Social Media and the Arab Spring: Politics Comes First. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–34.