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Instructor Class Description

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Kazimierz Poznanski
SIS 520
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Theories and Quantitative Methods for Social Science Research

Selected social scientific theories and quantitative methods for students in international and area-studies programs. Introduction to methodological neoclassicism, neo-institutional analysis, "developmentalism," rational choice and dynamic institutionalist approaches, and selected theories from political science. Essentials of statistical analysis.

Class description

The course discusses the four alternative international political economy paradigms. Among them are three conventional paradigms: mercantilism, liberalism and Marxism. They are contrasted with the traditionalist paradigm based on a broad range of thought by Schumpeter, Burke, Popper, Hayek as well as Polanyi. Each paradigm offers not only a general view of the world but also a methodology that corresponds with such a view. While the three conventional paradigms draw from modern physics, the traditionalist paradigm draws from biology. While the conventional thinking stresses scarcity, conflict as a prevailing strategy and patterned historic trends, the traditionalist paradigm stresses uncertainty, cooperation as a dominant strategy and the open-ended nature of change. Major themes in the international political economy are discussed to see how these competing paradigms differ in terms of how one studies these problems and what respective interpretations are produced, e.g., preconditions of free trade, breaking out of backwardness, frequency of wars, collapse of social systems, diversity of social institutions.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 04/21/2009