Research Strategies in Policy Studies
What is ReSPoS?
ReSPoS is a Summer School deeply focused on research methods in policy studies. With special attention devoted to methodological pluralism, ReSPoS's main task is to grant participants the opportunity to be presented with - and possibly to challenge - different research traditions, by discussing the assumptions, the advantages and the limitations underlying each method. Accordingly, ReSPoS Summer School will help participants to critically evaluate their research projects and to choose the empirical strategy that better suits their research questions.
What will this edition be about?
Every empirical research requires that we cope with the intricacies of turning concepts from theories into measures – and credibly so. Given their ambition to usable knowledge for policy decisions, the matter is even hotter to policy studies. The evaluation of a policy tool rests on shaky ground if we mismeasure the treatment and the effect. Processes and causal recipes to outcomes can be too easily dismissed, or too easily confirmed, when based on ill-defined observations. The information that big data make available is as massive as dirty, and must be carefully shaped before it can be properly used as policy-relevant data. The adequacy of measures to concepts, moreover, is never solved once and for all. The specification required for computing probabilities can be not the same as for assessing possibilities. To maximize the portability of a concept across space-time regions, we may need a fairly different gauge than when we engage in intensive studies. ReSPoS 2018 gathers scholars from different research traditions to discuss what different techniques understand as good measures of relevant concepts. During five days, students will be presented with positions and solutions through practical examples from process tracing, QCA, standard econometrics, and topic modeling.
There will be 4 hours and half of the lesson per day, granting participants enough time to understand each topic and make questions. Each lesson will be divided into 3 slots:
- the general presentation of the approach;
- technicalities and notation details;
Moreover, the ReSPoS Summer School 2018 will grant participants the opportunity to discuss their research projects with the faculty through a poster session. In detail, each participant will be asked to summarize his/her research project in an A3 poster, specifying the topic, research questions, main hypotheses and the prospective empirical strategy. At the end of each day, participants will have the opportunity to show and discuss their posters with scholars in a 'Research projects - Speed Date'.
Thus, the ReSPoS Summer School will include:
- The usual mix of not-mainstream (!) methods in policy studies;
- The opportunity to discuss your research project with well-established scholars
- An ice-breaking social event on Monday (networking matters!).
- The process of conceptualisation in case-based research within policy studies
Rasmus Brun Pedersen, Aarhus University (DK)
- From concepts to property-sets for configurational analysis
Mario Quaranta, Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (IT)
- From words to numbers: text analysis and topic models in policy studies
Federica Genovese, University of Essex, Colchester (UK)
- The mainstream: econometrics to build synthetic indicators in policy studies
Daniele Checchi, Università degli Studi di Milano (IT)
- Wrap-up: Concepts and the challenges of MMR
Gary Goertz, University of Notre Dame (USA)
The School will be hosted by the Università Degli Studi di Milano, in Palazzo Greppi in Via S. Antonio, 12. The palace is conveniently located within walking distance from the main metro-stations of Missouri and Duomo. Classes and the poster session will be held in the Sala Napoleonica.
The School welcomes applications from MA students, Ph.D. students and Post-doctoral researchers. Moreover, the School welcomes applications from practitioners and researchers from private and public organizations interested in policy studies.
Applications are online only. Interested candidates may access the online form here. Remember to attach your curriculum vitae to the application form. The School can, unfortunately, accept no more than 25 students. If the number of applications exceeds the capacity, preference will be given to candidates with some previous knowledge of policy studies and a proven interest in empirical research
Admission and Attendance
Admissions will be communicated two weeks after the application deadline by e-mail only. The School will certify the attendance. Preliminary reading materials will be distributed by the School to admitted candidates in advance.
Fees and services
Thanks to the financial support from the sponsors, the School is free of charges.
The ReSPoS School is a NASP (Network for the Advancement of Social and Political Sciences) project. It gratefully acknowledges the fundamental support from the Compagnia di San Paolo. The School has also been endorsed by the Standing Group "Political Science & Public Policy" of the SISP - Società Italiana di Scienza Politica.
Giampiero Cama (University of Genoa), Alessia Damonte (University of Milan), and Francesco Zucchini (University of Milan).
Organizing and teaching assistant
Fedra Negri (University of Milan).
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.