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  1. Key texts 2 items
    Lectures and seminars will draw on these, but also upon core readings listed below.
    1. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

      Book 

    2. Research methods in international relations - Christopher Lamont 2015

      Book 

  2. Websites, Blogs and other Useful Resources 11 items
    1. Sites related to Theory and Research in International Relations 4 items
    2. Survey Question Bank (SQB): UK Data Service Discover

      Website  The Survey Question Bank (formerly the ESRC Question Bank (Qb) hosted at the University of Surrey) is co-ordinated by the UK Data Archive (UKDA) at the University of Essex. The SQB provides access to the questionnaires, in PDF format, from a range of major UK social surveys conducted, for the most part, since the mid-1990s. These questionnaires - which are fully searchable - are displayed in their original context, allowing users to better understand the context in which a particular question was asked. The resource allows keyword searching of questionnaire items and provides links to survey documentation with exact pages of search terms noted. Useful for finding a variable or comparing question wording. Other content includes expert commentary on studies and key variables, bibliographies and web links. Actual data files not available.

    3. Web of Science: Databases: Oxford Brookes University Library

      Website  Extremely useful database when you know the name of the author and want to find out his/her publications. You can also search by subject or keywords.

    4. UK Data Archive

      Website  The majority of national data such as the General Household Survey, the Labour Force Survey, and the British Social Attitudes Survey are available online. You can download them free of charge once you have registered as a user.

    5. SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Sciences 2 items
      SPSS software is available on networked computers across Brookes University. The University's SPSS licence also allows you to install SPSS on your own computer for free. To do this, click on the link to the IT Service Desk and follow the steps listed below.
      1. To download SPSS onto your own computer, follow the above link to connect to the IT Service Desk at Oxford Brookes:

        1. At the IT Service Desk screen, sign in with your student number and password in the login box.
        2. Click on the blue box on the left "Browse our service catalogue and make a request".
        3. At the next screen, click on the "IT Services Requests" link on the right.
        4. Click on "Order IT kit & software" from the list on the right.
        5. Click on "Request software for home devices".
        6. You should then see a list of available downloads. When you have put in your request for the appropriate version, check your Brookes email account. You will receive 2 emails: A download email with a hyperlink/attachment to download the software;  A second email with the serial number and instructions on how to install the software.  

  3. Key texts on International Relations 4 items
    If you need acquainting with the schools of thought in International Relations – or a refresher, try these books:
    1. International relations theories: discipline and diversity - Timothy Dunne, Milja Kurki, Steve Smith c2013

      Book 

    2. The globalization of world politics: an introduction to international relations 2017

      Book  NB The Library only has print copies of this book as it is not available to buy as a library e-book.

    3. Steve Smith on bringing International Relations theory to life - YouTube

      Audio-visual document  A very introductory YouTube primer on theories as lenses for ‘seeing’ Syria

  4. Weekly module readings 179 items
    1. Week 1: Introduction: Becoming Advanced Scholars of International Relations 9 items
      1. Lecture Overview: What we can know about an object is in no little measure dependent on nature of the object itself (compare, say, what we can know about a billiard ball as opposed to someone else's state of mind). This means that debates about appropriate methodologies and what is knowable depends on what social scientists consider to be their object of concern. What is the object of concern of International Relations and what counts as adequate knowledge in IR?

        Learning Objetives: Gain an understanding of the core analytical concepts of the module: ontology, epistemology, and methodology

        Seminar Activity: What are the requisite characteristics of a researcher of politics and international relations?

      2. Key reading 4 items
        1. Clouds, Clocks, and the study of Politics - Gabriel A. Almond, Stephen J. Genco 1977

          Article 

        2. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

          Book  Chapters 1 and 2

        3. Research methods in international relations - Christopher Lamont 2015

          Book 

        4. Theory and methods in political science - David Marsh, Gerry Stoker 2010

          Book  Read chapter: Furlong, P and Marsh, D ‘A Skin Not a Sweater: Ontology and Epistemology in Political Science’

      3. Further reading 3 items
        1. Handbook of international relations 2013

          Book  Read Chapter 2: Wight, Colin ‘Philosophy of Social Science and International Relations’

        2. Handbook of international relations - Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse-Kappen, Beth A. Simmons 2002

          Book  Read chapter: Wight, Colin ‘Philosophy of Social Science and International Relations’ pp. 23-71.

        3. International Relations in the US Academy - Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, Michael J. Tierney 2011

          Article 

      4. Interviews/Bios/Blogs 1 item
    2. Week 2 3 items
      1. Key reading 2 items
      2. Supplementary reading 1 item
    3. Week 3: Explaining or Understanding? 13 items
      1. Lecture Overview: What kind of knowledge we can have about the objects of IR study (epistemology), and what might be appropriate strategies for obtaining such knowledge (methodology). More specifically, we review controversies between those who think that social scientists should emulate the 'positivist' methods of the natural sciences and those who think that the social sciences must be based on entirely different procedures and criteria, which allow for 'interpretation' and normative concerns. We will consider different varieties of the latter position (including critical theory and postmodernism) as well as those who question this dichotomy (structuralism, constructivism). Relating back to the previous session, we will see how the debate does indeed hinge to a large extent on what one assumes the social world to be, justifying the focus on ontological questions in the next section of the module.

        Learning Objectives: To familiarize yourself with the nature of the ontological, epistemological, and methodological differences across the divide of a foundationalist, positivist understanding of IR as a social science versus an anti-foundationalist, interpretivist one.

        Seminar Activity: Who is John Ruggie and what issue does he study? Does his issue count as being relevant to politics and IR? What is his position as a researcher? That is, what are the aims of his inquiry and what values or assumptions are at play in how one builds knowledge on this topic. Important too is to look out for how he goes about identifying patterns of activity in relation to his object of study. 

      2. Key reading 1 item
        1. Just business: multinational corporations and human rights - John Gerard Ruggie 2013

          Book  Read chapter: Ruggie J. G. ‘Challenges’

      3. Further reading 6 items
        1. Explaining and understanding international relations - Martin Hollis, Steve Smith 1991

          Book  Read pp. 45-91

        2. Designing social inquiry: scientific inference in qualitative research - Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, Sidney Verba 1994

          Book  Read pp. 3-33

        3. Designing social inquiry: scientific inference in qualitative research - Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, Sidney Verba 1994 (electronic resource)

          Book  Read pp. 3-33

        4. International relations theory today - Ken Booth, Steve Smith 1995

          Book  Read chapter: Vasquez, John, ‘The Post-Positivist Debate: Reconstructing Scientific Enquiry in International Relations Theory after Enlightenment’s Fall’ pp. 217-40.

      4. Interviews/Bios/Blogs 4 items
        1. Robert Keohane interviewed by Colin Hay Nov. 2008

          Audio-visual document  Relatedly see Weber’s ‘Science as a Vocation’ posted to Moodle.

      5. Assignment 1 1 item
        DUE Friday October 6th at 5pm. Read Keohane and answer the following: Should social inquiry be a scientific enterprise according to Keohane? Argue why or why not and be clear, using the tools of ontology, epistemology and methodology, what makes it scientific.
    4. Week 4: Research Design and Ethics 12 items
      In this session we will discuss ethical issues that are frequently raised in the research process, and explore different researcher perspectives on ethics in social research. We will also explore the ways in which values might enter into the research process, and the different perspectives that exist on the place of values in social research.
      1. Key reading 4 items
        1. Designing social inquiry: scientific inference in qualitative research - Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, Sidney Verba 1994

          Book  Chapter 3, pp.74-114

        2. Designing social inquiry: scientific inference in qualitative research - Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, Sidney Verba 1994

          Book  Chapter 3, pp.74-114

      2. Further reading 8 items
        1. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

          Book  Read Chapter 5

        2. Case studies and theory development in the social sciences - Alexander L. George, Andrew Bennett, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs c2005

          Book  Especially Chapter 1, Chapters 3-6. Chapter 1 is available as a PDF below.

        3. Case studies and theory development - A.L. George, A. Bennett 2005

          Chapter 

        4. Rational Deterrence Theory and Comparative Case Studies - Christopher H. Achen, Duncan Snidal 1989

          Article  Comparative case study method

    5. Week 5: Agency, Structure and Social Change 27 items
      1. Lecture Overview: This is the first of four sessions that consider in more detail various key dimensions of social ontology. The agent-structure 'question' can be stated simply: are social actors (whoever they might be) 'masters' of their destiny, or do they simply act out their roles as scripted in the structures in which they are embedded? Or, can one conceive of some interactive relationship between agency and structure? But the search for an 'answer' to this question is far from straightforward, as it involves complex questions of psychoanalysis and linguistics and whether these are, or are not, key for understanding society. To what extent is a positive-scientific approach based on a denial of the agency-structure problem; and what do we think of the different non-reductive attempts to 'deal' with the interactive relationship between agency and structure (the 'structurationist', 'morphogenetic' and 'strategic-relational' approaches)? These are some of the key issues of this session.

        Learning Objectives: Gain a sense of these ontological terms and their usage (often in binary opposition, but sometimes dialectical too) in explaining and understanding the behaviour and properties of each - agents and structures and social change

        Seminar Activity: Be prepared to explain, drawing upon the key readings why the following dichotomies are associated with the agent structure debate and whether they are in fact helpful to the study of IR: conduct and context; parts and whole; individual and society; state and system; micro and macro; object and subject; change and reproduction. Also, be prepared to discuss what our inquiries require in order to theorize social change.

      2. Key reading 3 items
        1. Theory and methods in political science - David Marsh, Gerry Stoker 2010

          Book  Read chapter: Colin Hay, ‘Structure and Agency’, pp. 212-31.

      3. Further reading 14 items
        1. Contemporary philosophy of social science: a multicultural approach - Brian Fay 1996

          Book  Chapter: Fay, B. ‘Does Our Culture or Society Make Us What We Are?'

        2. Contemporary philosophy of social science: a multicultural approach - Brian Fay 1996

          Book  Chapter: Fuller, S. ‘From Content to Context: A Social Epistemology of the Structure-Agency Craze’, esp. pps. 92-3, 98-115.

        3. The constitution of society: outline of the theory of structuration - Anthony Giddens 1984

          Book  Chapter 1

        4. Historical materialism and globalization - Mark Rupert, Hazel Smith 2002

          Book  Chapter: Heine, C. & Teschke, B. ‘The Dialectic of Globalisation: A Critique of Social Constructivism’ pp.165-87.

        5. Neorealism and its critics - Robert O. Keohane c1986

          Book  Chapter: Ruggie, J.G. ‘Continuity and Transformation in the World Polity: Toward a Neorealist Synthesis’, pp. 131-57.

        6. The origin of capitalism: a longer view - Ellen Meiksins Wood 2002

          Book  'Introduction' pp. 1-8

      4. Interviews/Bios/Blogs 7 items
        1. Interview with Ken Waltz - Fred Halliday, Justin Rosenberg, Ken Waltz 1998

          Article 

        2. Passion, craft, and method in comparative politics - Gerardo L. Munck, Richard Snyder 2007

          Book  Chapter: Theda Skocpol ’States, Revolutions, and the Comparative Historical Imagination’, pp. 649-650, 664-688

      5. Assignment 2 2 items
        DUE Friday October 13th at 5 pm. Identify the primary research question, theory or explanation and compare the ontological approach to agency, structure and change in both of the following:
    6. Week 6: The Ideational and the Material 15 items
      1. Key reading 2 items
        1. Social theory of international politics - Alexander Wendt 1999

          Book  Chapter 3: 'Ideas All the Way Down?', pp. 92-138.

        2. Ideas and foreign policy: beliefs, institutions, and political change - Judith Goldstein, Robert O. Keohane, Social Science Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Foreign Policy Studies 1993

          Book  Chapter 1

      2. Further reading 6 items
        1. Historical sociology of international relations - Stephen Hobden, John M. Hobson 2002

          Book  Read chapter: Smit, Christian-Reus ‘The Idea of History and History with Ideas’ pp.120-140.

        2. Ideas and foreign policy: beliefs, institutions, and political change - Judith Goldstein, Robert O. Keohane, Social Science Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Foreign Policy Studies 1993

          Book 

        3. The culture of national security: norms and identity in world politics - Peter J. Katzenstein 1996

          Book 

      3. Interviews/Bios/Blogs 5 items
        1. Social Science as Communication - Audra Mitchell, Martin O'Neill 2015

          Article 

      4. Assignment 3 2 items
        Due Friday, October 27th: Identify the primary research question, theory or explanation and compare the ontological approach to the ideational and the material in both of the following:
        1. Ideas and foreign policy: beliefs, institutions, and political change - Judith Goldstein, Robert O. Keohane, Social Science Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Foreign Policy Studies 1993

          Book  Chapter 9: Krasner, S. 'Westphalia and All That', pp. 235-264.

        2. Laffey, M. and Weldes, J. (1997) 'Beyond Belief: Ideas and Symbolic Technologies in the Study of International Relations', European Journal of International Relations, 3 (2), 193-23. Not available via Library website. 

    7. Week 7: Qualitative Research Interviews and Focus Groups 21 items
      1. Key reading 2 items
        1. Chapter 15: Qualitative interviewing - N Fielding, H Thomas 2016

          Chapter 

        2. Chapter 16: Focus groups - A. Cronin 2016

          Chapter 

      2. Further reading 19 items
        1. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

          Book  Read Chapter 18 AND at least one of the readings below.

        2. Learning to Interview in the Social Sciences - Kathryn Roulston, Kathleen deMarrais, Jamie B. Lewis 2003

          Article 

        3. Developing focus group research: politics, theory and practice - Rosaline S. Barbour, Jenny Kitzinger 1999

          Book 

        4. Making sense of qualitative data: complementary research strategies - Amanda Coffey, Paul Atkinson 1996

          Book 

        5. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

          Book  Chapter 8

        6. InterViews: learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing - Svend Brinkmann, Steinar Kvale 2015

          Book 

        7. InterViews: learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing - Steinar Kvale, Svend Brinkmann 2009

          Book 

        8. Qualitative researching - Jennifer Mason 2017

          Book  Chapter 4

        9. Qualitative researching - Jennifer Mason 2002

          Book  Chapter 4

        10. Social research: issues, methods and process - Tim May 2011

          Book  Chapter 6

        11. Focus Groups - David L. Morgan 1996

          Article 

        12. Practical social investigation: qualitative and quantitative methods in social research - Christopher Pole, Richard Lampard 2002

          Book  Chapter 6

        13. Doing qualitative research - David Silverman 2013

          Book 

        14. Doing qualitative research - David Silverman 2010

          Book 

        15. Theory and methods in political science - David Marsh, Gerry Stoker 2010

          Book  Chapter: Vromen, A. ‘Debating Methods: Rediscovering Qualitative Approaches’

    8. Week 8: Documentary Research 22 items
      1. Key reading 3 items
        1. Social research: issues, methods and process - Tim May 2011

          Book  Read Chapter 8.

      2. Further reading 19 items
        1. Research methods in politics - Peter Burnham, Karin Gilland Lutz, Wyn Grant 2008 (electronic resource)

          Book  Chapter 7

        2. Research methods in politics - Peter Burnham 2008

          Book  Chapter 7

        3. Qualitative researching - Jennifer Mason 2017

          Book  Chapter 6

        4. Qualitative researching - Jennifer Mason 2002

          Book  Chapter 6

        5. Doing qualitative research - David Silverman 2013

          Book  Chapter: Prior, L. ‘Using Documents in Social Research’

        6. Doing qualitative research - David Silverman 2013

          Book  Chapter: Atkinson, P and Coffey, A. ‘Analysing Documentary Realities’

        7. Researching social life 2016

          Book  Chapter 12

        8. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

          Book  Chapter 23

        9. Social research: philosophy, politics and practice - Martyn Hammersley 1992

          Book  Chapter: Jupp V. and Norris, C. ‘Traditions in Documentary Analysis’

        10. Analysing discourse: textual analysis for social research - Norman Fairclough 2003

          Book 

        11. Discourse as data: a guide for analysis - Margaret Wetherell, Stephanie Taylor, Simeon J. Yates 2001

          Book 

        12. Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches - H. Russell Bernard c2013

          Book 

        13. Researching society and culture - Clive Seale c2012

          Book  Chapter: Gidley, B. ‘Doing historical and archival research'

        14. Researching society and culture - Clive Seale 2004

          Book  Chapter: Gidley, B. ‘Doing historical and archival research'

        15. A matter of record: documentary sources in social research - John Scott 1990

          Book 

    9. Week 9: Discourse Analysis 19 items
      1. Key reading 3 items
        1. Discourse analysis: an introduction - Brian Paltridge 2012 (electronic resource)

          Book  Read Chapter 1, pp. 1-22.

        2. Discourse analysis: an introduction - Brian Paltridge 2006

          Book  Read Chapter 1, pp. 1-22.

      2. Further reading 15 items
        1. Texts and practices: readings in critical discourse analysis - Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard, Malcolm Coulthard 1996

          Book 

        2. Analysing discourse: textual analysis for social research - Norman Fairclough 2003

          Book 

        3. Discourse and social change - Norman Fairclough 1992

          Book 

        4. Language, agency, and politics in a constructed world - François Debrix c2003

          Book 

        5. Formations of modernity - Bram Gieben, Stuart Hall 1992

          Book  Chapter 6: Hall, S. ‘The west and the rest: discourse and power’

        6. Discourse theory in European politics: identity, policy and governance - David R. Howarth, Jacob Torfing 2005

          Book 

        7. Critical discourse analysis - Terry Locke 2004 (electronic resource)

          Book 

        8. Discourse - Sara Mills 2004

          Book 

        9. Michel Foucault - Sara Mills 2003 (electronic resource)

          Book  Chapters: ‘Discourse’ and ‘Power/Knowledge’, pp. 53-79.

        10. Analysing political speeches - Christina Schäffner c1997

          Book 

        11. Researching society and culture - Clive Seale c2012

          Book  Chapter: Tonkiss, F. ‘Analysing Text and Speech: content and discourse analysis’

        12. Researching society and culture - Clive Seale 2004

          Book  Chapter: Tonkiss, F. ‘Analysing Text and Speech: content and discourse analysis’

      3. Interviews/Bios/Blogs 1 item
    10. Week 10: Surveys and Questionnaires 21 items
      1. Key reading 1 item
        1. Questionnaire Design - C. Leddy Owen 2016

          Chapter Essential Chapter 13, pp.239-258

      2. Further reading 20 items
        1. Social research methods - Alan Bryman 2016

          Book  Chapters 8 and 9

        2. Survey research. - Krosnick Jon A. 1999

          Article 

        3. Assessing Response Rates and Nonresponse Bias in Web and Paper Surveys. - Linda J. Sax, Shannon K. Gilmartin, Alyssa N. Bryant 2003

          Article 

        4. Surveying the social world: principles and practice in survey research - Alan Aldridge, Kenneth Levine 2001

          Book  Chapter 6: Designing the questions: what, when, where, why, how much and how often?

        5. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects - Martyn Denscombe 2014 (electronic resource)

          Book  Chapter 6: Questionnaires

        6. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects - Martyn Denscombe 2014

          Book  Chapter 6: Questionnaires

        7. Researching society and culture - Clive Seale c2012

          Book  Chapter: Bloch, A. 'Doing Social Surveys’

        8. Researching society and culture - Clive Seale 2004

          Book  Chapter: Bloch, A. 'Doing Social Surveys’

        9. The survey methods workbook: from design to analysis - Alan Buckingham, Peter Saunders 2004

          Book 

        10. Surveys in social research - D. A. De Vaus 2014

          Book 

        11. Understanding social statistics - Jane L. Fielding, G. Nigel Gilbert 2006

          Book 

        12. Social research: issues, methods and process - Tim May 2011

          Book 

        13. Practical social investigation: qualitative and quantitative methods in social research - Christopher Pole, Richard Lampard 2002

          Book  Chapters 5 and 6

    11. Week 11: Quantitative Methods 17 items
      1. Key reading 1 item
      2. Further reading 16 items
        1. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects - Martyn Denscombe 2014

          Book  Chapter 10: Quantitative data

        2. Understanding social statistics - Jane L. Fielding, G. Nigel Gilbert 2006

          Book  Read Chapters 3-5; 8-11.

        3. Practical social investigation: qualitative and quantitative methods in social research - Christopher Pole, Richard Lampard 2002

          Book  Read Chapter 9: Quantitative data analysis: knowledge from numbers

        4. SPSS for social scientists - Ciaran Acton, Robert L. Miller, D. Fullerton, John Maltby 2009

          Book  Read Chapters 1-7.

        5. Analysing Survey Data - Paul Stoneman 2016

          Chapter  Chapter 20

        6. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects - Martyn Denscombe 2014 (electronic resource)

          Book  Chapter 10: Quantitative data

        7. SPSS for social scientists - Robert L. Miller 2002

          Book  Read Chapters 1-7.

        8. Surveying the social world: principles and practice in survey research - Alan Aldridge, Kenneth Levine 2001

          Book  Chapter 7: Processing responses and Chapter 8: Strategies for analysis

        9. The survey methods workbook: from design to analysis - Alan Buckingham, Peter Saunders 2004

          Book  Chapters 6-9

        10. Statistical methods for the social sciences - Alan Agresti, Barbara Finlay c1997

          Book 

        11. Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics - Andy P. Field 2018

          Book