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Political Science 3810

Political Science 3810 – Spring 2017







What Do We Know About …



Scholars in international and comparative politics study a variety of problems.  The research paper is an opportunity to investigate the “state of the art” with regard to one specific topic.  This means that you are expected to delve into the scholarly literature in your chosen area of inquiry.  In addition to evaluating what the literature has/has not achieved, you have the opportunity to explain what the best next steps would be for scholarship on your chosen topic.


You can choose from the following topics:



Political scientists studying international and comparative politics have investigated these issues.  What are their contributions   What do we know about these various problems as a result of their research   For your paper, identify scholarly articles, book chapters, and books that address the issue.

You may use articles from academic journals and books or book chapters in edited volumes written by scholars.  Use these materials to evaluate the state of knowledge of the issue you have chosen to investigate.  That is, you will ascertain through your review of these various sources what scholars have learnt about your chosen topic.

Your paper will take the form of a review essay that evaluates the “state of the art” with regard to a specific area of inquiry in international politics.  In your conclusion, you evaluate the state of knowledge on your chosen issue and outline what further research is desirable to resolve debates or questions that have remained unanswered.



Finding materials for your paper

There are several ways in which you can search for articles on the topic you have chosen.  You have several options, all starting at www.library.unt.edu:




Your paper will be evaluated on the basis of the demonstrated knowledge on the topic (and appropriate citation of sources!), the logic of your argument, and the degree to which you demonstrate a grasp on the literature regarding the issue you chose to investigate.

The paper should be about 3500 words long, excluding references.  This will be somewhere between 10-15 pages of text.  The paper should contain the following elements:




The paper will be evaluated on the basis of the following:



Acceptable Sources

Scholarly journals:*


American Journal of Political Science

American Political Science Review

British Journal of Political Science

Civil Wars

Comparative Political Studies

Comparative Politics

Conflict Management and Peace Science

European Journal of International Relations

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Policy Analysis

Human Rights Quarterly

International Organization

International Political Science Review

International Security

International Studies Perspectives

International Studies Quarterly

International Studies Review

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Journal of Peace Research

Journal of Politics

Perspectives on Politics

Political Psychology

Political Research Quarterly

Political Science Quarterly

PS: Political Science and Politics

Public Opinion Quarterly

Social Science Quarterly

Terrorism and Political Violence

Third World Quarterly

World Politics



*If you identify academic journals with peer-reviewed articles that are not on this list, check with your instructor.  There are many additional, specialized journals that we’ll be happy to approve.  Just ask!


Books and book chapters:

Do not forget to use the library’s collection of books and edited volumes!

Ask the librarians for help in using search engines to identify relevant materials.

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