POL 144A Democratization in Eastern Europe. Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)
POL 144A Democratization in Eastern Europe
Guidelines for Paper
Points Total: 100
Pages: 10-12, including graphs, tables, etc. Up to 1/3 of your paper can be graphs, tables, etc.
(1) Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)
In this section, you should introduce your topic of study (in other words, your dependent variable). How is this topic relevant to Central and Eastern Europe (or the set of countries within that region that you are studying)? Briefly state the relationship that you are investigating in your paper. Depending on how your structure your paper, you may want to introduce your explanatory (independent) variable at this point, especially if it will help you discuss the relationship you investigate in the paper.
(2) Literature review and statement of hypothesis (1-2 pages)
In this section, you will discuss literature (at least five articles/book chapters) related to your topic (dependent variable). In this discussion expand on what you wrote in your introduction. Why is the dependent variable (e.g. corruption, support for far right parties, hostility to the European Union, economic growth, democracy, etc.) relevant to Central and Eastern Europe? What are some of the causes or contributors to your topic? What have other studies said about the topic you are studying? What have other studies found regarding factors (explanatory/independent variables) that impact your topic? Finally, conclude this section with a restatement of the basic relationship that you are studying. This is generally stated in the form of a relationship between a key explanatory factor (also called ‘independent variable’) and your topic of study (dependent variable). (Note: you may be interested in more than one explanatory factor.)
For example, if you were studying corruption in CEE, you would want to define what you mean by corruption, discuss the relevance of corruption in CEE, and discuss other studies of corruption, either in CEE or elsewhere. Finally, you would want to propose a cause or contributor to corruption that you will investigate in your paper. If possible, tie the relationship that you are studying to other work on your topic. For example, if authors of one paper found that parliamentary democracy is associated with lower corruption in Africa, you could investigate whether or not that relationship holds in Central and Eastern Europe.
(3) Discussion of your country cases (1-2 paragraphs, optional—one descriptive table)
In this section, you should discuss the cases you chose and justify your selection in terms of your research question.
Why did you choose these cases? An intellectual rather than personal reason is best.
In this section, you should provide information about your explanatory (independent) variable along with other basic descriptive information about these countries. Organize this information into a table.
What kind of information might be relevant? The kind of things we have been discussing in class: GDP per capita, effective number of parties in party system, level of democracy. Basic statistics such as population are also interesting.
Example: If I were studying the effect of institutional design on corruption, I would include a table of level of corruption, GDP per capita, PolityIV, negotiated/non-negotiated transition, and relationship to USSR for the years 1995 and 2012 (start of transition and a recent year).
(4) Presentation of your key phenomenon (dependent variable/outcome of interest) (1-2 paragraphs, one graph/table) In this section, you should describe where you obtained your measure and how it was created. You should also explain what the values of your measure actually mean (e.g. Polity ranges from -10 to 10, values are intended to measure degree of democracy, etc.)
If you are looking at a complex measure, such as Polity, Freedom House, the Human Development Index, or other complex variables, you should describe exactly what the measure is. For example, Polity ranges from -10 to 10, and values are intended to measure degree of democracy. For this, you can refer to the manuals or relevant web pages, most of which are accessible through SmartSite. If your variable is a survey question from the World Values Survey, you would include the question wording as well as possible responses. If your measure is the “effective number of parties” measure, describe that. Or, if you are using proportion of vote to nationalist parties over time, you would describe this measure and why you are using it. If you are studying entrance to EU, which is a qualitative dummy variable, you would describe exactly how you are determining entrance.
In this section, you should also summarize the dependent variable for each of your country cases (and years if relevant) and present this information in a table, or, if your dependent variable varies by year, in a line graph (exactly like we do in section and homework) showing the distribution of your dependent variable for each country case over time.
This section will include at least one table or graph.
(5) Presentation of your key explanatory (independent) variable (1-2 paragraphs, possible graph/table) In this section, you discuss your key explanatory variable(s) and its relationship to your dependent variable.
First identify and describe your key explanatory variable.
Second, state the basic relationship that you expect to find between your key explanatory variable and your dependent variable. Give some insight into why you expect to find this relationship, citing the article(s) that inspire your study.
If you included more than one variable in your analysis, you should also briefly discuss these other variables, justifying their inclusion in your analysis.
(6) What did you find? Explanation of why your dependent variable varies over your country cases and/or over time (1-2 pages, possible table of correlations or regression results)
This is the section where you discuss your analysis and findings. What did you learn about the relationship between your outcome of interest and your explanatory variable? Is there a relationship? If so, provide evidence of this relationship.
Evidence can come from an examination of graphs or tables; it can come from historical facts and developments; or, it can come from statistics. Several of the readings I have assigned do not use regression or correlation, yet they study relationships and present evidence. Many excellent papers present only historical evidence. That is fine. However, I would like you to present this evidence in as organized and systematic a format as possible. A table of qualitative evidence can be very effective. We will provide examples if needed – please ask!
If you wish to include statistical evidence, even if it is only descriptive statistics, you will need to create a table to display your results. If you do regression analysis, you will need to create a table to display your results. I will provide a template to aid you in presenting regression results, if you are interested in including this.
Also, the most important thing if you use statistics (such as correlation or regression) is to interpret the results. You need to tell the reader in words what you have found.
Summarize your findings in one paragraph.
Advice (and guidelines for grading):
Label all graphs clearly.
Graphs must be in color if color is necessary to differentiate the information (or use grayscale).
Graphs should be smaller rather than larger.
Keep writing focused and to the point.
POL 144A Research Paper Excellent Good Fair Poor Points
Literature review and hypothesis(es) /25
Justification of country cases /5
Presentation of DV (including graph/table) /10
Presentation of key IV (including graph/table) /10
Analysis and findings /25
The effect of Foreign Intervention and Pluralism in the Democracy of Central-Eastern Europe
Subject and Section
Political Democratization is the transition through the evolutions of a country from any form of government into a more solid democratic political rule (Lewis, 1997). Eastern Europe has seen different forms of regime changes and the rise of democratic rule like the negotiated democratization of Poland and the evolutionary democratization of Hungary but there is also democratization that followed violent implementations for the country to change like in Yugoslavia and Romania (Lewis, 1997). Although democracy have an extensive effect to the government of another country, the readily observed effect of democracy is pluralism or multiculturalism as a societal norm since the characteristic of a democratic country can readily recognize and accept the coexistence of different interest and lifestyle of other cultures (Lewis, 1997).
Before the transition of some countries of Eastern Europe into democracy, totalitarian rule plagued different countries, which prohibits and oppresses the individual rights of the citizens (Turk, 2014). Additionally, totalitarian regimes often include repression of the public's political will where one person have the absolute control over the freedom of the people as well as the economy of the country (Conquest, 1999). During the Cold War era (1947 – 1991), concepts of anti-totalitarianism in these regions of the world started to urge the people to go against the oppression of the totalitarian regime (Conquest, 1999).
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