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WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

1. TITLE: ‘A GENEALOGY OF THE MODERN STATE’

  • Your title should give a clear indication of your proposed research approach or key question

2. BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE – 500 words

The study of the origins of the modern state has yet to encompass a ‘genealogy’ of the concept – namely, an exploration of its intellectual sources and the many ways in which different political writers have used the term ‘state’ in the modern era (c. 1900-2000). Dunn (1995), Pocock (1997), and Johnson (2000) have each produced studies on the origins of the ancient concept of the state. However, we lack a study of the comparable development of the modern concept.

You should include:

  • the background and issues of your proposed research
  • identify your discipline
  • a short literature review
  • a summary of key debates and developments in the field

3. RESEARCH QUESTION(S) – 500 words

You should formulate these clearly, giving an explanation as to what problems and issues are to be explored and why they are worth exploring

The research questions to be explored by this paper include: an examination of the conceptual origins of the modern state; an overview of the many ways in which political writers in the modern era have used the term ‘state’; a history of the practice of statecraft in the modern era. These questions are worth exploring given the extraordinary significance of the state to the structures of our lives in the twenty first century.

4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY – 500 words

You should provide an outline of:

  • the theoretical resources to be drawn on
  • the research approach (theoretical framework)
  • the research methods appropriate for the proposed research
  • a discussion of advantages as well as limits of particular approaches and methods

The research paper will adopt the genealogical methodology pioneered by Friedrich Nietzsche in his Genealogy of Morality (1900), refining this method to apply to the distinctive question of the development of the concept of the ‘state’.

5. PLAN OF WORK & TIME SCHEDULE – 300 words

You should include an outline of the various stages and corresponding time lines for developing and implementing the research, including writing up your thesis.

6. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Nietzsche, Friedrich (1900). The Genealogy of Morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pocock, John (1996). The Origins of the Ancient State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

You should include:

  • a list of references to key articles and texts discussed within your research proposal
  • a selection of sources appropriate to the proposed research

Hughes, John (1988). The State and its Discontents. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.