Universität Wien FIND

400028 SE A critical appropriation of big data: Political economy at the crossroads of new methods (2021W)

SE Methods for Doctoral Canditates

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 15 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 25.10. 09:45 - 16:00 Seminarraum 19, Kolingasse 14-16, OG02
Wednesday 27.10. 09:45 - 16:00 Seminarraum 17, Kolingasse 14-16, OG02
Thursday 28.10. 09:45 - 16:00 Seminarraum 19, Kolingasse 14-16, OG02
Friday 29.10. 09:45 - 16:00 Seminarraum 19, Kolingasse 14-16, OG02


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course will introduce students to the problems of using BigData approaches within the context of critical political economy. The course will propose a number of case studies to discuss the benefits and limits of Big Data but will also provide time to discuss students’ own challenges and projects.
The course will take place in 5 days and cover the following:

Day 1 Social Indicators and Big Data.
The challenges of AI and Big Data to Paul Lazarsfeld’s framework. Indicators and Critical approaches: an unhappy match?

Day 2 Deconstructing Macroeconomic Indicators: National Accounts and Inflation

Day 3 Deconstructing Macroeconomic Indicators: International Trade

Day 4 Social Protest: Measuring protest with Natural Language Processing

Day 5 Social Protest: Balance of Forces

The classes consist of lectures and workshops. A set of minimal readings will be provided to be completed before class. Students are encouraged to bring up particular issues regarding their own research agenda. These will animate the workshops.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Students will be evaluated on the basis of their attendance and active participation in the course (30%), and a final paper discussing or applying one of techniques covered in the course (70%).

Examination topics

Reading list

A full list of readings and bibliography will be supplied during the course.
General readings for this course are:

• Anwar M Shaikh and E. Ahmet Tonak, Measuring the Wealth of Nations
The Political Economy of National Accounts (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1996).
• Alain Desrosières, The Politics of Large Numbers: A History of Statistical
Reasoning (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998).
• Paul Studenski, The Income of Nations (New York U.P.; University of London P, 1967).
• Beverly J Silver, Forces of Labor: Workers’ Movements and Globalization
since 1870 (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
• Roberto Franzosi, Quantitative Narrative Analysis, 162 (Sage, 2010)

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 15.10.2021 18:29