Spring & Summer Schools

ReSPoS Summer School 2019

Research Strategies in Policy Studies (ReSPoS) Summer School 2019 - 7th edition

Big Data for Better Policies (?)

Milan, June 24 – 28
NASP Graduate School, Room A 
University of Milan
Via Pace 10, 20122 Milan, Italy


● What is ReSPoS?
ReSPoS is a Summer School deeply focused on research methods in policy studies. With special attention devoted to methodological pluralism, ReSPoS's main task is to grant participants the opportunity to be presented with - and possibly to challenge - different research traditions, by discussing the assumptions, the advantages and the limitations underlying each method. Accordingly, ReSPoS Summer School will help participants to critically evaluate their research projects and to choose the empirical strategy that better suits their research questions.

● What will this edition be about?
In the digital age, almost any individual action leaves a digital trail, thus providing to both governments and citizens unprecedented quantities of data about each other. Political scientists and philosophers, public policy scholars, ICT experts and practitioners agree that big-data (i.e. data from social media, sensors, mobile phones, etc.) will have a major impact on policy-making.
Big data will inevitably impact social research and policy analysis, asking for a re-examination of our empirical knowledge and theory. A fundamental question is whether, with big data, correlational research is going to replace causal research, with the implication that inductive reasoning and data mining may overcome deductive reasoning and theory testing. As social scientists and policy analysts, we need to be trained on big data-collection, storage and analysis. Moreover, to face the rumored trend toward a-theoretical correlational approaches, we need to pay even more attention than before to the detection of causal chains and to the normative implications behind big data for policy-making. The 7th edition of the ReSPoS Summer School takes part in this exciting debate by gathering scholars and practitioners from different disciplines.
There will be 4 hours and half of lesson per day, granting participants enough time to understand each topic and make questions. Each lesson will be divided into 3 slots: 1. the general presentation of the approach; 2. technicalities and notation details; 3. application.
Moreover, the ReSPoS Summer School 2019 will grant participants the opportunity to discuss their research projects with our faculty through a poster-session. In detail, each participant will be asked to summarize his/her research project in an A3 poster, specifying the topic, research questions, main hypotheses and the prospective empirical strategy. At the end of each day, participants will have the opportunity to show and discuss their posters with scholars in a 'Research projects - Speed Date'.

Thus, the ReSPoS Summer School 2019 will include:
• A mix of digital methods for policy studies;
• The opportunity to discuss your research project with well-established scholars and
• An ice-breaking social event on Monday (networking matters!).

● Programme
» Machine Learning. Opportunities and Challenges for Policy Making
Guido De Blasio, Bank of Italy
» Capturing and Storing Big Data: Introduction to Web Scraping Techniques
George Petasis, Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos
» Seeing the Forest through the Trees: a Gentle Introduction to Machine Learning Approaches
David Muchlinski, Sam Nunn School, Georgia Institute of Technology
» Automated Content Analysis for Social Scientists
Zachary David Greene, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Strathclyde
» Network Analysis with Python and Gephi
Davide Beraldo, Department of Media and Culture, University of Amsterdam

● Venue
The School will be hosted by the NASP Graduate School at the University of Milan, in Via Pace 10. The palace is conveniently located at walking distance from the metro-station of Crocetta. Classes and the poster session will be held in Room A.

● Applications
The School welcomes applications from MA studentsPh.D. students and Post-doctoral researchers. Moreover, the School welcomes applications from practitioners and researchers from private and public organizations interested in policy studies. The deadline for application is April, 15.

Applications are online only. Interested candidates may access the online form here. Remember to attach your curriculum vitae to the application form.
The School can accept no more than 36 students. If the number of applications exceed our capacity, preference will be given to candidates with some previous knowledge of policy studies and a proven interest in empirical research. 

● Admission & Attendance
Admissions will be communicated two weeks after the application deadline by e-mail only.
The School will certify the attendance. Preliminary reading materials will be distributed by the School to admitted candidates in advance.

● Fees and services
Thanks to the financial support from our sponsors, the School is free of charges. Scholarships for supporting the participation of thirteen young researchers working in non-Italian research institutions are available thanks to the financial support of CARIPLO Foundation. The call for application for the scholarships is available here.

● Sponsorships
The ReSPoS School is a NASP (Network for the Advancement of Social and Political Sciences) project. It gratefully acknowledges the fundamental support from the Compagnia di San Paolo and CARIPLO Foundation.
The School has also been endorsed by the Standing Group "Political Science & Public Policy" of the SISP - Società Italiana di Scienza Politica.

 Acting director
Fedra Negri (University of Milan)

● Scientific committee
Giampiero Cama (University of Genova), Alessia Damonte, Fedra Negri and Francesco Zucchini (University of Milan).

● Further info
For any request, please contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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