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Where the QALY's at in political science?

by Timothy_Liptrot1 min read5th Aug 20207 comments

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Cause Prioritization
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Say you are a driven young political scientist with both quant and qual skills. What questions in political science have the most expected utility waiting to be unlocked? Which questions are most tractable, important and neglected?

If possible, point me to previous posts on the topic.

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I think that the complexity of political systems mean that you can't work out a dinky formula for the best expected utility. You might enjoy this post on global development, and also this list which includes some important topics.

I'm currently particularly interested in authoritarianism and safeguarding democracy.

And also, if you're a young political scientist, with these skills, then you don't need to defer to others - what do you think they are yourself?

Effective Thesis has some suggested topics within political science.

Great power war/conflict?

If you were this person, I think you would go into politics rather than political science. Policymakers mostly don't listen to political scientists, and the replication crisis is reason enough that this is mostly the right choice on their part. Even if your work is good, finding it among the trash would require more work than studying the issue in house. So this creates a feedback loop--competent poli sci graduates go into practical politics, lowering the quality of academic political scientists, giving politicians less reason to listen to them, further pushing competent graduates into practical politics...

See, e.g. https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-176979334/the-absent-professor-why-politicians-don-t-listen