World Bank Analysis

 

OVERVIEW:

Comparative analysis involves the systematic study and comparison of political and economic systems. It seeks to explain differences between, as well as, similarities among countries. It is particularly interested in exploring patterns, processes and regularities among political systems. While it cannot produce proofs in the manner of the hard sciences, it can identify trends, look for changes in patterns, and develop general propositions or hypotheses that describe developments.

You and your team have been contracted by the World Bank to assist in the analysis of the impact of selected global development projects

As you consider directions for your research stay focused on the statistical and quantitative measures you might use to compare, contrast and assess the performance of various nations around the world. (Read Chapter 8 of Almond and Powell for background).

  The readings focus on the methods employed by comparative politics. Students will identify and carry out a preliminary research project. The secondary goal is to develop an understanding for the limitations and strengths of quantitative analysis and the comparative method. Students will produce a written report and PowerPoint presentation of their work.

ASSIGNMENT: 

Students should complete the assigned reading, design and develop a comparative study according to this model:

1. Introduction: It should introduce the topic statement in the form of a clearly stated hypothesis, as well as, describe the method to be employed. Define or describe terms and models used. The hypothesis should be designed to be tested through the use of quantitative analysis based on charts that can demonstrate causal relationships.

2. Literature review: How does your research relate to previous research? Does it improve, update, reformulate, and validate; utilize different nations or factors? This should be about 2 pages minimum and review a minimum of 6 sources.

3. Data: You will utilize data to investigate trends, causal relationships, and positive or negative correlation. The data should be clearly presented in the form of charts, graphs or tables. Layout and clarity are important considerations.

"XY-scatters" charts with trendlines may be useful to illustrate your data.

4. Conclusions: The data should be interpreted to examine patterns, confirm or deny the hypothesis, and describe the lessons learned. You should use background reading to support your conclusion.

5. Research assessment: This section should describe any problems with the hypothesis, data, or research method. It should include a critique of existing studies and literature, as well as, suggestions for project revisions and future research. NOTE: The project’s failures are as significant as its successes. You should be testing the method. This is the most important part of the project.

6. Work cited A description of the source of data and other background material.

SUGGESTED DATA SOURCES:

  • Computer based:

  • Maps and Facts

  • C D Newsbank

  • Exegy

  • SIRS Researcher

  • Text: Reserve Desk

  • Human Development Report

  • Encyclopedic World Atlas

  • The New State of the World Atlas

  • State of the World

  • The Strategic Atlas

  • The World Fact Book

PROCESS

The project will be conducted in groups of 2 or 3 students.

By Large group session on January 7 groups should be finalized and a preliminary team work schedule should be filed with Mr. Pappas. Instructor/Team conferences will be scheduled at that time.

A preliminary proposal is due by the close of school on Thursday, January 8th. This should be one typed page and briefly describe the proposed hypothesis, availability of data, and the research method to be applied to the data.

During large group on January 14th each group will present a brief (5 - 8 min.) presentation of their proposed project. The purpose is to solicit group feedback. Revised proposal due.

January 21st written project due

January 21 - 22: Large group presentations (about 20 min.) This should only address the highlight of your project assessment. The completed project should follow the assigned format. It should include a PowerPoint presentation.

Students will be responsible for the assigned readings in Wiarda and Magstadt.

The completed project will be worth 1/3 of quarter grade.

It includes:

  • Proposal

  • Final project

  • Proposal presentation to large group

  • Project presentation to large group

Sample X-Y Scatter Charts

 

 Peter Pappas 
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