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Qualitative Research Methods



Objective: 1. To understand and assess the debate over the appropriate use of quantitative and qualitative methods in political science.
Objective: 2. To attain the skills necessary to carry out qualitative research.

Content: The course is designed to help 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.

Methods of Instruction

This course will employ a technique called ‘flipping the classroom.’ The instructor’s lectures will be posted online, and students are expected to come to class sessions having watched the lectures. Class sessions will then be used for group exercises that provide hands-on experience with the applicable concepts, theories, and methods.

Study material

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

Other journal articles and book chapters will be posted on Blackboard or on reserve at the library.


Students will be evaluated based on their active participation in class activities and several short out-of-class exercises with written analysis.


Wednesday 3 September until 22 October, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A37
Thursday 18 September, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A37