Theoretical and metodological problems of the qualitative methods research
- Students will develop a familiarity with key aspects of qualitative research design and their application in political science, as well as awareness of resources and skills to develop in order to pursue different (positivist and interpretive) research agendas.
- By the end of the course, students will have a necessary toolkit to evaluate: a) what qualitative methods go best with what kind of research questions, and b) what implications a positivist or interpretivist choice to qualitative research is likely to have on their own research projects i.e. on how this research is done and the standards by which the results of these inquiries can and will be evaluated.
- Students will learn how to apply key elements of positivist and interpretive research design to their own research, and critique the work of other scholars using principles learned in the course.
- Course PlanThe course will consist of 9 classes and run for 9 consecutive weeks. It will be conducted in module 3 (January), starting at a date that is still to be determined. Some classes will take the form of lectures with Q&A discussion at the end (classes 1, 4 & 5), others will be student-led seminars (classes 6,7, 8 & 9) and some will be a mix of the two (classes 2 & 3). In the lectures, students will be introduced to the theoretical and practical issues involved in an aspect of research design. In the seminars, students will either work with the instructor and in small groups to implement the techniques to which they were exposed, or lead class discussions on aspects of qualitative methodology with a view to explain the extent to which a methodological approach can disclose something new about a particular aspect of political activity. More specifically, the plan is as follows:
- Class 1: The Problem of Explanation (2 x lectures)
- Class 2: Positivism I – Causality: experiments and natural experiments (1 lecture, 1 seminar)
- Class 3: Positivism II – Causality: observational analysis (1 lecture, 1 seminar)
- Class 4: Interpretive Political Science & Research Design (2 x lectures)
- Class 5: Interpretive Explanations of Politics (2 x lectures)
- Class 6: Applying the Interpretive Lens I (2 seminars)
- Class 7: Applying the Interpretive Lens II (2 seminars)
- Class 8: The Choice of Research Design I (2 seminars)
- Class 9: The Choice of Research Design II (2 seminars)
- Interim assessment (1 semester)0.3 * Essay + 0.2 * Homework + 0.3 * Participation + 0.2 * Presentation
- Adcock, R., & Collier, D. (2001). Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003055401003100
- Darden, K., & Grzymala-Busse, A. (2006). The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism, and the Communist Collapse. https://doi.org/10.1353/wp.2007.0015
- Finkel, E. (2015). The Phoenix Effect of State Repression: Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. American Political Science Review, 2, 339.
- Coppedge, M., Gerring, J., Altman, D., Bernhard, M., Fish, S., Hicken, A., Kroenig, M., Lindberg, S. I., McMann, K., Paxton, P., Semetko, H. A., Skaaning, S.-E., Staton, J., & Teorell, J. (2011). Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: A New Approach. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1537592711000880
- Rhodes, R. A. W., & Bevir, M. (2015). Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1021249
- Wright, G. H. von. (2009). Explanation and Understanding. Routledge.