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Department of Politics Research Design and Political Analysis 4. Connecting Levels of Analysis Dr Susan Banducci Associate Professor in Political Science 6 February 2010 Reading: Recommended Texts

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department of politics
Department of Politics

Research Design and Political Analysis

4. Connecting Levels of Analysis

Dr Susan BanducciAssociate Professor in Political Science

6 February 2010

reading
Reading:
  • Recommended Texts
  • Mahoney and Goertz (2004). "The Possibility Principle: Choosing Negative Cases in Comparative Research."
  • Process Tracing and Historical Explanation (Chapter 10). In: George and Bennett (2005). "Case Studies And Theory Development In The Social Sciences."
  • Complementary Texts
  • Fearon (1991). "Counterfactuals and Hypothesis Testing in Political Science."
  • Bennett and Elman (2006). "Qualitative Research: Recent Developments in Case Study Methods."
plan for today s seminar
Plan for today’s seminar:
  • Introduction to Topic
  • Exercise
  • Some more notes
  • Questions from reading
levels of analysis i
Levels of Analysis I
  • Graham Allison
    • levels of analysis - system level, state level, and sub-state level
      • beliefs, perception and misperception
      • rationality
      • small-group decision-making
      • Culture and identity
      • Domestic politics
    • *unit vs level of analysis (or explanation)
levels of analysis ii
Levels of Analysis II
  • Levels of reality (see Ritzer, for example)
  • Three different levels
    • Micro, meso, macro
    • Or simple analytical categories
  • Macro (e.g. Population, power, production)
  • Meso (segmentation, differentiation, integration)
  • Micro – emotions, symbols
  • Bridging the gap
levels of analysis iii
Levels of Analysis III
  • Two level theories (Goertz and Mahoney 2005 Sociological Research Methods)
  • Basic Level
    • Y = X * Z (and only)
    • Y = X + Z (and/or)
    • Y = U * X + U * Z (hybrid)
  • Second Level
    • Y = min(sum(X1,X2, . . .), 1)
an example
An example:
  • Skocpol’s Theory of Social Revolution
  • States and Social Revolutions (1979)
  • Dep. Var - onset of social revolution in France, Russia, and China through a comparison with several other cases that did not experience social revolution.
units of analysis inference and levels of observation
Units of Analysis (inference) and Levels of Observation
  • Causal inference about what?
  • What is being observed?
  • Cross-level analysis

Observation

Analysis

multi level analysis
Multi-level analysis
  • Aggregate Data Analysis
    • Higher level units, data aggregated from
  • Contextual Analysis
group exercise
Group Exercise:
  • Each group prepare 5 minute presentation using one of the examples
  • Answer following questions:
    • What are the levels of analysis?
    • What is the unit of analysis?
    • What is the level of explanation?
    • Represent units, levels and “causal” pathways in a diagram
  • Be prepared to ask questions about other examples.
slide12

Ecological Fallacy

  • Inferring individual-level relationships from relationships observed at an aggregate level.
  • This is because the correlation between ecologic variables is often markedly different from the corresponding individual correlation within the same population
  • Robinson, 1950, Ecological Correlations and the behavior of individuals. Am Soc Rev.
multiple levels of analysis
Multiple Levels of Analysis
  • Cross-level inference
    • Both levels interact
  • Units (micro, level 1) within bigger units (macro, level 2)
    • Individuals within countries
    • Firms within states
    • Elections within years, within countries
multiple levels of analysis14
Multiple Levels of Analysis
  • Cross-level inference
  • Units (micro, level 1) within bigger units (macro, level 2)
    • Individuals within countries
    • Firms within states
    • Elections within years, within countries
questions
Questions:
  • Case selection
    • Selecting for characteristics at both levels