Political Analysis


Quantitative Political Analysis

This course will provide students with useful tools for undertaking empirical research in political science and will help them to become informed consumers of quantitative political analysis. The course will first consider the general theoretical concepts underlying empirical research, including the nature of causality, the structure and content of theories, and the formulation and testing of competing hypotheses. The course will then employ these concepts to develop several quantitative approaches to political analysis. Students will be introduced to two statistical methods frequently used by political scientists, contingency tables and linear regression. By learning to systematically analyze political data, students will gain the ability to better conduct and evaluate empirical research in both its quantitative and qualitative forms. Dist: QDS.

Prerequisite for the MajorPrerequisite: One course in statistics and the methods of social science: GOVT 10, ECON 10, or MATH 10.  Another course in statistics and the methods of social science may be substituted for GOVT 10, with permission of the department chair, in consultation with the full-time department faculty members who teach GOVT 10.

Govt 16

Data Visualization (Identical to QSS 17)

Big data are everywhere – in government, academic research, media, business, and everyday life. To tell the stories hidden behind blizzards of data, effective visualization is critical. This course primarily teaches R, a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, which is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and flexible tools for data visualization and, more broadly, data science. Students completing the course will know how to “wrangle” and visualize data critical to their scientific endeavors.


Bureaucratic and Organizational Behavior (Identical to PBPL17)

This course considers explanations of the structure and behavior of public and private bureaucracies and of voluntary groups taken from theories grounded on rational calculations compared with those grounded on social values. Materials are taken primarily from American and Western European governmental and industrial experience, but some attention is paid to bureaucracies and organizations in developing countries. Students will conduct field research on Dartmouth or Hanover/Norwich administrative offices or voluntary groups. Dist: SOC.


Introduction to Political Game Theory (Identical to QSS 18)

Game theory is used to study how individuals and organizations interact strategically, and this course introduces game theory with a focus on political science applications.  Game theory is a standard tool in the social sciences, and insights from game theory are essential to understanding many facets of politics, such as political party competition, legislative politics, international relations, and the provision of public goods. Among other topics, the course will cover normal and extensive form games, Nash equilibria, imperfect information, mixed strategies, and, if time permits, the basics of games with incomplete information.  A course in game theory will change that way that one views the world.  Prerequisite: Math 3 or the equivalent. Dist: QDS


Topics in Political Analysis

This course will enable regular or visiting faculty members to examine political topics not treated in the established curriculum. Subjects may therefore vary each time the course is offered. Dist: Varies.

GOVT 19.01 - Topics in Political Analysis

Advanced Political Analysis (formerly Advanced Statistical Methods for Political Research)

This course introduces mathematical and statistical models in the social sciences beyond the level of bivariate regression.  Topics to be covered include multivariate regression, selection bias, discrete choice, maximum likelihood models, multi-level modeling, and experiments.  We will use these models to study voter turnout, elections, bargaining in legislatures, public opinion, political tolerance, the causes and duration of wars, gender bias in employment, educational testing, poverty and income, and a host of other topics.  Students will write a paper of original research using some of the methods covered in class.  Prerequisite:  Government 10, Economics 10, Geography 10, Mathematics 10, Psychology 10, Social Sciences 10, or equivalent Dist: QDS

GOVT 19 - Topics in Political Analysis

Advanced Game Theory

This course is a continuation of Government 18, Introduction to Game Theory.  It will build on the material covered in the prior course and will cover Bayesian games, dynamic game of incomplete information, and repeated games.  The emphasis in Government 19 will continue to be political science applications.  (Note: the prerequisite for this course is Government 18 or permission of the instructor.) Dist: QDS.

GOVT 19 - Topics in Political Analysis

Research Design and Qualitative Analysis

Perhaps it is counterintuitive, but the most important part of any research project is completed before a scholar delves into the archives, compiles a dataset or sends an experiment out into the field. First, a researcher must identify an important question and design a creative and compelling means of answering it. This course is dedicated toward two complementary ends, instruction in qualitative methods and research design. It will begin by providing students with an introduction to the tools and techniques, strengths and limitations of qualitative methods. It then explores how to craft research designs to provide the greatest explanatory leverage and how to communicate most effectively with the intended audience. Somewhat unlike a traditional political analysis course, this class is best thought of as a practicum for those actively engaged in the research process. The course is ideal for those contemplating writing a thesis or a similar project since students will concentrate on one substantive topic for the duration of the term. However, it will benefit anyone interested in methodology and the intricacies of research in political science. Topics include: hypothesis generation, concept formation and measurement, case study design and selection, multi-methodological design, archival research and writing for the social sciences.  Dist: LIT

Govt 19.XX - Topics in Political Analysis

Machine Readings: Text Analysis for the Information Age (Identical to English 55.02/Math 05.01/ QSS 30.02)

Library digitization has made millions of books, newspapers, and other printed materials accessible to the public. In this course we will learn how to draw on computational resources to analyze a range of materials, including poetry, novels, newspaper articles, and personal diaries. We will explore debates about the representation of literary texts as "data" and consider the challenges "machine reading" poses for research in the humanities and how we think about what it means to read a text. Through case studies we will reflect critically on the history of the digital humanities (formerly known as humanities computing) and will gain practical experience in text analysis.