Professor Gregg Bucken-Knapp has started the lecture series for SPA MSU postgraduate students of all areas of specialization. Duration of the course is 2 weeks, November 9 – November 22. Daily lectures (except Saturday and Sunday) available at 19.00-21.00, Room G-802. The class can be also attended on a non-credit basis by those interested in the topic.
To be signed up for the course follow the link:
Gregg Bucken-Knapp is a senior lecturer and associate professor at the School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University (Washington, DC) in 1999, with a specialization in comparative politics. Gregg Bucken-Knapp is also an editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration.
The goal of the course is to provide students with a concise overview of some of the key approaches and methods currently favored by scholars of European politics and society who work in a qualitative vein (with one exception). To set the stage, the course begins with a focus on early historical institutionalist scholarship, which sought to problematize the contingent manner in which institutions can shape outcomes. Following this, the lecture’s attention will turn to varieties of capitalism, a variant of institutionalism that rapidly gained popularity in the field of comparative political economy in the early 2000s and centers around the structure of the political economy for understanding outcomes. The main focus will be on the role that ideas may exercise in shaping developments in the European polity, emphasizing how underlying values and beliefs have significance during key points in historical development and policy reform. Immigration policy, welfare state retrenchment, and gendered public policy are to be under consideration highlighting the different ways in which these issues are problematized and analyzed. The course of lectures will be finalized with review of the literature with a seminar that places the role of the media front and center as an actor with particular importance for European polities and beyond.
The emphasis will be on the fundamental building blocks of social science research projects: research question, theory/literature review, case selection, data collection and analysis, criteria for drawing conclusions, and the contribution made by the research to the broader field. As such, this course will take a broad approach to an examination of methods, reflecting the belief that the methodological choices made by scholars can be fruitfully analyzed by considering them alongside other key components of a well-designed research project.
The format of instruction for the course will be seminars, in which the instructor will provide a brief introduction to the week’s theme, followed by student presentations and discussion of the literature. In the final seminars, students will be expected to present a preliminarily sketch for a research project on some aspect of European politics making use of one of the approaches discussed in the course. Students will then have two weeks from the date of their presentation to submit a 3,000 word paper further developing the proposed research.
Seminar 1: Introduction
Seminar 2: Historical Institutionalism and Europe in a Comparative Perspective
Seminar 3: Varieties of Capitalism
Seminar 4: Ideational Approaches to Public Policy
Seminar 5: Immigration, The European Polity, and Beyond.
Seminar 6: Welfare State Retrenchment
Seminar 7: Gender and Public Policy.
Seminar 8: Examining the Role of the Media Cross-Nationally
Seminars 9 & 10: Ethnography, ethnic policies and the European Parliament
Seminar 11: Students Project Presentations