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Qualitative Research Methods



The course is designed to help the students develop their research skills in qualitative methods. The course covers three broad topics: 1) The debate between quantitative and qualitative methods in political science; 2) the design of qualitative studies, including the comparative method and case studies; 3) the practicalities of doing qualitative research, particularly relating to fieldwork and historical research.

Methods of Instruction

The course will be taught as a seminar, and the students are expected to actively participate in discussions of the assigned readings.

Study material

The readings for the course include chapters from two books and articles available through the university library’s online journals. The readings cover approximately 600 pages.

Brady, Henry E., and David Collier, eds. 2004, Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

George, Alexander L., and Andrew Bennett. 2004, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

The students will be evaluated based on their contribution to class discussions and two written assignments.


Pieter de la Courtbuilding Leiden:
Tuesday 13 September till 25 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs. in 1A33