The Czech Way of Methodological Training in Political Science from an International Perspective

  • Jan Kofroň
  • Ilona Kruntorádová
Keywords: methodology, education, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, political science, Czech Republic

Abstract

Methodologies and methods represent one of the most fundamental and persistent topics of scientific debates, especially in western political science. While Czech political science strives for deeper international integration, such an effort may be limited by (among other things) the insufficient methodological training of its scholars. Acknowledging this concern, the article compares the levels of methodological education at elite western universities and selected Czech universities. The resulting comparison shows that Czech political science programs offer (i) less methodological courses in general, (ii) but especially in the realm of quantitative methodologies, and (iii) above all, they do not provide training in advanced (qualitative as well as quantitative) methods at all. The long term effects include the limited ability of Czech researchers to productively use works utilizing more sophisticated methods, which may in turn negatively affect their chances of publishing research in some of the prestigious international journals. Under these adverse conditions researchers may unwittingly eschew research questions whose solutions presume the employment of an advanced method. Considering, however, on the one hand, the deep rooted and self-reproducing historical embeddedness of the Czech way of methodological education, and the financial weakness of Czech universities on the other, one apprehends that there will not be a significant improvement in this area in the middle-term horizon.

Author Biographies

Jan Kofroň

Born in 1984, he is an assistant professor at the Institute of Political Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. He focuses on geopolitics and warfare in his research.

Ilona Kruntorádová

Born in 1986, she is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Political Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. In her work she focuses on research of local politics, the autonomy of local governments and the pushing through of municipal interests.

Section
Consultations