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Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis

Course 2012-2013


This course is designed to help you develop your research skills in qualitative methods, as well as the ability to critique and evaluate academic works employing such 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 within-case analysis; and 3) the practicalities of doing qualitative research, particularly relating to fieldwork and historical research. The required readings of the course consist of peer-reviewed journal articles and selected chapters from the textbook.

Study Material

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

Peer-reviewed journal articles TBA

Course participation & assessment

50% of the grade will be based on course participation. Class participation involves a) presenting and discussing several research articles during classes and b) participating in class discussions. All research articles will be presented first by a student. Such a presentation should last 15-20 minutes and address the key issues raised in the articles, i.e. summarize, synthesize, and point to debates/contentions. Afterwards, all students are expected to participate actively in the class discussions of the article. The remaining 50% of the grade come from the final assignment. It consists of a response paper to one week’s readings, where you must incorporate at least two outside texts (books or articles) on the subject and relate the subject to a research question you are working on or find interesting.

Wednesday 31 October till 19 December, 13.00-15.00, Room 1A12

N.B. 12 December 12.00-16.00, Room SA05