PECOS4025 – Analytic perspectives on peace and conflict
This class examines fundamental principles of research methods and design in political science as applied to the field of peace and conflict research. It prepares students to design and conduct an independent research project of their own. This class also equips students to assess the validity and reliability of published research in political science and to reflect on ethical challenges pertaining to research in the field of peace and conflict.
This course is organized as a series of lectures on the following topics:
- Logics of inference in political science research (JK) What are concepts and how to measure them
- Selecting cases and using data (PL) Developing and testing theory
- Counterfactual thinking (PL) Ethics and transparency in peace and conflict research
- Causal inference from process-tracing and congruence tests
- Research design and debates in the field of security studies
- Research design and debates in the field of civil war research
- Developing strategies to tackle challenges to inference
After having completed the course, the students have acquired the following knowledge, skills and general competencies:
- Fundamental principles of research methods and research design in political science
- How to assess the validity and reliability of inferences in research designs and published findings
- How to discuss ethical problems and challenges in peace and conflict research
After taking this class students can:
- Identify and discuss different strategies for inference in political science research
- Distinguish between different kinds of research questions and strategies for inference
- Identify and tackle bias problems in political science research
- Design and implement a research design in the field of peace and conflict studies
- How to create and improve a research design suited to answer their research question
- How to think systematically about measurement, inferences and explanation in political science research
- How to engage in constructive assessment of research design choices and strategies for inference, especially in issue areas with limited or biased data
- How to provide constructive feedback on research design to others and how to integrate such feedback into their own project
Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.
If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.
This course is not available for single course students.
- Attend at least 8 out of 10 lectures.
- Pepare 4 reaction papers of 250 words each summarizing the main argument of one assigned reading per lecture and discuss its implications for research practice. Students will have to submit four reaction papers to qualify for examination.
- Prepare constructive written feedback on another student’s draft final essay
Access to teaching
There will be a mid-term exam counting 30% toward the overall grade.
Students will prepare one final paper on challenges to inference on a topic of their choice in the field of peace and conflict studies (3000-4000, words excluding references) counting 70% toward the overall grade
The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Withdrawal from an examination
It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.