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Qualitative Research Methods



The course is designed to help students develop their research skills in qualitative methods. The course covers three broad topics: (1) the design of qualitative studies, including case selection, conceptualization, and operationalization of variables, (2) specific techniques used for qualitative analysis (e.g., small-n comparative analysis, process tracing, interviewing, and participant observation), and (3) the practicalities of doing qualitative research.

Course objectives

Objective: 1. To understand and assess the appropriate use of qualitative methods in political science.

Objective: 2. To attain the skills necessary to carry out qualitative research.


On the MIRD frontpage of the E-guide you will find a link to the timetable.

Mode of instruction

This course employs a technique called ‘flipping the classroom.’ The instructor’s lectures are 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.

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

Students will be evaluated based on:
(1) weekly article assessments (5%),
(2) active participation in class activities (20%), and
(3) several short applied exercises with written analysis (75% total for three assignments).


The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.

Reading list

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 linked to on Blackboard or on reserve at the library.