Problem Set about scientific study of political science

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1. [30 Points] A researcher wishes to study the effect of voter I.D. laws on enthusiasm for participation in democratic elections in the United States. (a) Explain how the researcher could use temporal variation study this question with an N of at least two. (b) Explain how the researcher could use both spatial and temporal variation to increase the N beyond two. (c) Name two sources of qualitative data the researcher could potentially use or create to study enthusiasm for participation in democratic elections.

2. [40 points] A researcher hypothesizes that in “Country A,” prior liberal democracy was a necessary condition for the ascendance of a right-wing authoritarian government. Theyknow that the presence of a right-wing authoritarian political party in parliament is asufficient condition for the ascendance of a right-wing authoritarian government. With this in mind, they decide to conduct a process-tracing analysis to test if prior liberal democracy was indeed a necessary condition for the ascendance of a right-wing authoritarian government. (a) Given their pre-existing knowledge about this causal process, will they be conducting a “smoking-gun test” or a “hoop test?” (b) What happens to their hypothesis if a causal-process link is not shown? Do we consider their hypothesis proven if a causal-process link is shown? (c) Now assume they know that the presence of a right-wing authoritarian political party in parliament is a necessarycondition for the ascendance of a right-wing authoritarian government. Given their pre- existing knowledge, would the process-tracing test they conduct be considered a “hoop test” or a “smoking-gun” test? What happens to their hypothesis if a causal process link is not shown? Do we consider their hypothesis proven if a causal-process link is shown?

3. [30 points] You are interested in how various factors motivate students to run for student government positions and what factors motivate students to help others campaign for student government positions. You’ve decided to conduct semi-structured interviews. Create (a) two open-ended direct questions, (b) two open-ended indirect questions, and (c) one “grand tour” question.