Political Science News - News

IPSA-NUS Methods School 2015

National University of Singapore
Singapore, Singapore
8 June, 2015 - 19 June, 2015

The 4th Annual IPSA-NUS Summer School for Social Science Research Methods will be held at the National University of Singapore, June 8-19, 2015.        

This year's Methods School offers thirteen quantitative, qualitative, and formal methods courses, such as Bayesian Analysis, Case Study Analysis, Experimental Methods, Game Theory, Maximum Likelihood Estimation, Mixed Methods, QCA, and Quantitative Text Analysis. All courses are taught by highly experienced international faculty from the U.S. and Europe and provide participants with rigorous, hands-on training in state-of-the-art research methods.        

For more information on the various Methods School courses and instructors, financial aid, early registration discounts, and more, visit our website (http://methods-school.nus.edu.sg) or contact us at methods-school@nus.edu.sg.           


IPSA-NUS Methods School      
National University of Singapore      
AS1, #04-10, 11 Arts Link      
Singapore 117573               


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Interview with Professor Vladimíra Dvořáková, Editor of World Political Science

Professor Vladimíra Dvořáková, editor of World Political Science, has been interviewed by Jaroslav Kramer for Prague Leaders Magazine. The discussion revolved around banalities, mistrust and politics.

Here is an excerpt of the interview.


Almost all political parties in the Czech Republic are, according to Vladimíra Dvořáková, confusing. “I am missing a deeper set of values,” she says. We asked her how one can recognize a good political scientist. And why does “trivializing” the media lead people to uncritically accept anything they see? In this interview for Leaders Magazine Prague, we also focus on her activities in the Accreditation Commission and The University of Economics Prague.

Dear Professor, it is typical for Czechs to enjoy commenting on current political events. Does it mean we are a nation of “non-professional political scientists”?

“If people talk about politics in the pub, or make statements in social media, then it is rather positive. It shows that they are interested in the situation, and everybody has a right to express their opinion. It is bad, however, when someone publicly presents themselves as a political scientist, with not even the slightest professional approach. The lady who sells herbs can often help when you are sick, but if the illness is serious, I would rather see a doctor.”

How much do the opinions of common people agree with your own assessments – for example in the case of a political crisis, or some important event on the political scene?

“It depends on the issue itself. If I use health care as an example again, I think we all know that if we have a cold, we must see a doctor for a serious diagnosis. Political negotiations can be analyzed by anyone with common life experience. But a political scientist should look under the surface, recognize deeper social connections, and the possible impact of events on further development.”

If you chose one word to illustrate the current political situation in the Czech Republic, which would it be?


What topics will be crucial for Czech politics in 2015? What topics will you lend your voice to most?

“It depends on what people ask me about. If I choose an issue, I would want to discuss restoring trust in society, trust among people in general, trust in promises, trust in the state and politics. I would be glad if we could talk about positive (and negative) examples of how elections influenced local politics, which impact our everyday lives. I would be glad if we talked about the function of the state, about the modern (un)transparency of decision making, the shady appointments of high officials, and other shenanigans. These are much more important topics than the bickering between this minister and the other. But of course, the media loves personal conflicts, it promotes them, as they are much more interesting than the tediousness of passing laws, funding schools, and improving our nation.”


The integrality of the interview is available here.

Peter Stone's "The Concept of Picking": Recipient of the 2014 Best C&M Working Paper Award

The Committee on Concepts and Methods (C&M - IPSA RC01) publishes two highly regarded series of working papers. In 2011, the Committee introduced the Best C&M Working Paper Award, which recognizes the best working paper published in either of its two series during the three previous year. The winner of the 2014 award is Peter Stone (Trinity College, Dublin) for his paper "The Concept of Picking" (Political Concepts 50, May 2011). {available at: http://www.concepts-methods.org/Files/WorkingPaper/PC_50_Stone.pdf}

In this paper Stone seeks to defend as rational the idea that agents sometimes simply pick among options in the absence of reasons to justify that selection. In instances where the standard ‘filters’ of rational decision making (first identify the feasible set, then choose the best option in that set) leave the agent with either no option or several, she may be justified in picking. Stone traces the genealogy of this idea, defends it against several skeptical alternative views, and in the process specifies the conditions under which it holds. In so doing he not only contributes to the task of delineating the concept of rational action, but offers a rich assessment of picking as a distinctive enterprise. 

2014 Award Jury:

James Johnson, University of Rochester (chair)
Beth Leech, Rutgers University
Zachary Elkins, University of Texas – Austin

Committee on Concepts and Methods
International Political Science Association