Elias Dinas, Swiss Chair in Federalism, Democracy and International Governance, Dept. of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute.
Walk us through your resume: how did you get into the topic of your course?
It’s a long story. I was in my second year of the PhD. Presenting a paper about media effects in Greek politics at Yale, which was hosting a conference on Modern Greek studies. While I was there, I came across Don Green, to whom I briefly described my research topic. He agreed to read a paper form the thesis. I did send a paper and he came back to me with comments. In the comments, he made it clear that I should look into this from a very different angle. He recommended some papers, which I read and since then I realised all I was doing until that point was practically futile. I then went on to take a course on Causal inference, taught by Andrea Chino, at the EUI. That was it.
What will students learn by attending your classes?
How statistical methods can help us to draw causal claims about phenomena of interest. Participants will be introduced into an authoritative framework of causal inference in social sciences, i.e. the potential outcomes framework. By the end of the course, students will be in position to:
1. critically read and evaluate statements about causal relationships based on some analysis of data;
2. apply a variety of design-based easy-to-implement methods that will help them draw causal inferences in their own research;
3. think about archival data under the logic of causal inference.
How would your students describe you?
Thick accent, quite strict and passionate. Others have called me a man-in-mission.
Please, tell us something about yourself that’s not on your resume.
I am working on a documentary.