As a thought exercise (just your own speculation) or based on any political science research you are familiar with or wish to read about in any book or journal article, write about a theory concerning the causal relationships between and among a dependent variable and particular independent variables (you may have one or more that one independent variables of interest at the outset). Assuming you had unlimited research funding, propose a research design and measurement plan for a study that would use cross-sectional (observational) data and statistical analysis to examine the theory. You could propose to replicate a past study that you have read about. Your paper should be clear on the following: What are the conceptual variables (especially the dependent one that is explained by the independent variable(s))? What is the unit of analysis? Draw and discuss the path diagram (flow graph) for the theory, including both causal and “noncausal” effects. What is the measurement, data collection, and sampling strategy? How are the variables to be measured? What are the categories of the variables/measures? What are the hypotheses concerning the relationships among the variables/measures? Explain how this study would offer evidence bearing on the causal relationship(s) of interest.
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