Qualitative Methods in Political Research
This course surveys qualitative methods used in political science research. After briefly reviewing qualitative and quantitative research traditions and elements of research design and concept formation, the course covers the practical uses of specific qualitative methods, including case studies, comparative historical analysis, archival research, interviewing, participant observation, ethnography, and mixed-method strategies. Because much is learned by doing, course assignments include a significant hands-on component. Examples used will come largely from comparative politics and international relations.
Format and Requirements
Active participation in seminar discussions, close reading of assigned texts, in-class presentations, analytic papers, and hands-on assignments using qualitative methods.
It is recommended that students have done the core course in one of the subfields, and are aware of basic methodological approaches. The core course seminar in comparative politics, or in international relations would be most helpful.