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Qualitative Research Methods



Purpose: 1. To understand and assess the debate over the appropriate use of quantitative and qualitative methods in political science. 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

Class sessions will be primarily discussion-based, with some short lectures.

Study material

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

King, Gary, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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


Students will be evaluated on their contribution to class discussions and two written assignments.

Tuesday 11 September till 23 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A22