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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Political Science Research Method <Experience>

Yoko Tsuruoka
2nd year student at the Graduate School of Political Science

The lesson develops around Professor Kume's "conversations" with the students

What is the difference between political affairs and political science research? Although they both cover the same political phenomenon, what are the conditions for making political science? Political Science Research Method is a class in which you learn those differences.

In <Experience>, we learn cause and effect reasoning method -explaining the cause and effect mechanisms that take place from the source to the result- It may be summed up in a word, but there are many methodological rules that must be satisfied. For example, in order to explain the process present from cause to effect, three conditions must be met. ①The cause precedes the result. ②If the cause changes, so does the result. ③Other factors that would affect the outcome will not change. By only linking the causes and effects you notice, it becomes a simple barbershop political discussion. Also, when you want to infer cause and effect by comparing examples, there are rules determining the choice of subjects. Representative of these are the "consensus method", where the cause can be inferred by observing similarities in examples with the same result, and the "disparity method", where one example has primary factors of the cause and one does not, and additionally, cause and effect reasoning methods are used for examples where the observed results differ. We don't only learn these methods, but also design research suited to our own line of research. This is the aim of this class.

In the class, various methodological problems in essays from various fields and how they can be improved are discussed from a methodological point of view. Despite there being over 70 students in attendance, the lesson is not a one-way lecture. There are discussions. Professor Ikuo Kume questions students about the cause and effect reasoning of an essay, and then pries even deeper by asking "Why is that so?" to the replies. The lesson proceeds at a good pace with familiar topics coupled with laugh-enticing topics.

My methodology study will not end when this class finishes. How will I use the methodology I have learnt in my own research, and how will I design my research? My study continues.

The mood among the students is very amiable