International and Comparative Environment and Energy Politics
|Raum||Ihnestr. 22, 14195 Berlin 22/UG5|
This course is designed for PhD students working in the fields of comparative and international energy and environmental politics. The expectation is that individuals taking this course will have a dissertation topic in mind and during the course will make progress on the research/writing of their dissertation. The course will combine a focus on issues of research design and primarily qualitative research methodologies with presentation and critique of individual participant‘s dissertation research projects. As all participants in the class will have common interests in energy or environmental matters it is expected that there will be lively critique of dissertation projects and designs. In our weekly meetings, we will consider what is involved in picking a good dissertation research question and appropriate research design. One of the things researchers often find most challenging is moving from a broad general idea of a research topic to formulating a researchable question. In this course, we will consider how different ways of asking questions can influence what and how an environmental or energy issue is researched. The course will consider the use of in-depth interviews, surveys, participant observation, discourse analysis, content analysis, archival research, historical comparisons, and big comparisons. Class participants will be expected to apply most of these methods to their own dissertation research questions as a way of both learning the research method and making progress on their dissertation research. Each PhD student will have multiple opportunities to present aspects of their work to the group and should be prepared to make improvements to their dissertation designs/content based on the critique they receive.