IPSA Summer School - São Paulo 2011

Sao Paulo Summer School 2011January 31, 2011 - February 11, 2011
University of São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil

The Second Annual IPSA Summer School set out to achieve three goals in 2011:

1- To train current and future scholars in cutting-edge social science methods, including qualitative and quantitative data analysis, as well as research design and research methods.

2- To bring together advanced social science scholars from the University of São Paulo, the rest of Brazil, other countries in Latin America, and the broader world in such a way as to create broad research networks that can stimulate the exchange of ideas, techniques and advanced methods across national and sub-disciplinary boundaries.

3- To consolidate the effort to establish a Summer School in Latin America that can serve as a global center for the propagation of advanced methods and techniques in political science research.

Courses were offered in a variety of quantitative and qualitative fields:

1- Comparative research design and configurational comparative methods (Professor Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Philipps University Marburg)

2- Mixed methods design (Prof. Max Bergman, University of Basel)

3- Comparative survey design (Prof. Bruno Cautrès, Sciences Po, Paris)

4- The experimental approach to political science research (Prof. Rebecca Morton, New York University)

5- Textual analysis (Prof. Rainer Schmidt, Martius Chair of European and German Studies, University of São Paulo; and Prof. Matthias Hastall, University of Augsburg)

6- Multiple regression analysis (Prof. Guy Whitten, Texas A&M University)

7- Qualitative methods and research designs (Prof. Gary Goertz, University of Arizona)

8- Communications and applied research for political and policy stakeholders (Prof. Clifford Young, IPSOS-Washington)

The School admitted 164 students, 41% of them female. The median age was 30; the average age was 32. Students came from 35 different institutions in 16 different countries: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, France Italy, Poland, UK, India, Norway, Spain, USA and Venezuela.

The educational background of students was very heterogeneous, but also very high-level. Faculty and post-doctoral fellows accounted for a fifth of the student body, and Ph.D. students accounted for half.

Students met each day for classes in their specific courses, with many instructors lecturing in the morning hours and then conducting computer labs, group exercises, or study sessions in the afternoons. Students were also invited to participate in three informational sessions during lunch times, on subjects such as “Pursuing graduate study abroad”; “Surviving graduate school”; and “Publishing in political science.”

Parallel with, and complimentary to the Summer School, the International Seminar program in the late afternoons served as a useful form of outreach, by which instructors’  work was presented to the broader university community. It also served as a useful means of introducing students to other instructors’ research and methods. In 2011, the Seminars addressed  the following themes: “Is political behavior biological?”; “Variable polls across variable places: the validity of survey research across boundaries”; "The quest for causal inference - recent developments in the social sciences"; and “Descriptive-causal generalizations: 'empirical laws' in the social sciences?".


Institutional Partners:

The Summer School is a partnership between the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the Department of Political Science (DCP) and the Institute for International Relations (IRI) at the University of São Paulo.

Generous support for the Summer School was provided by the IPSA, by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), by the University of São Paulo, and by the Centro de Estudos da Metrópole (CEM/CEBRAP).