For an Inductive, Interpretative and Ethnographic (Re)Turn in Political Science: The Case of the European Integration and its Influence on the Post-Communist Democratization

14 Pages Posted: 26 May 2010

Date Written: May 26, 2010

Abstract

The political science research is predominantly positivist and hypothetico-deductive; it takes one-size-fits-all models created within particular context and applies them to new regions or new time periods. Implicitly, it is considered to be the best way of doing social science; doing it differently raises brows and demands additional explanations from those daring not to follow the positivist and hypothetico-deductive types of analysis. This is as if the social scientific designs have heuristic values attached to their internal logic; some are considered to be more scientific; some others are less; and some still need to prove to be within the realm of science. The danger of being declared non-scientific being always present, many doubt whether it is worth risking and therefore follow on the well-beaten footsteps of their masters. I call for (re)turn to inductive, interpretative and ethnographic way of analysis. This analysis builds upon information gathered from extensive field studies, not from simple testing of existing theories and of multilevel models. The case is the European integration and its influence on the post-communist democratization. The existing literature is quite ambivalent on this topic; there are models that predict either positive or negative results as far as the democratization is concerned. They all use the traditional positive and deductive approaches; they are all parcimonial regarding the pre-established circle of what constitutes interesting phenomena. Against this way of analyzing I offer an alternative inductive, interpretative and ethnographic approach. The results show that it is superior in terms of advancement of knowledge, even if it requires some special skills from the researcher and arguably more time and more preparations.

Keywords: Qualitative Methods, Deduction, Induction, Interpretation, Positivism, Democracy, European Union, Communism, Post-Communism, Ethnography

Suggested Citation

Mitropolitski, Simeon, For an Inductive, Interpretative and Ethnographic (Re)Turn in Political Science: The Case of the European Integration and its Influence on the Post-Communist Democratization (May 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1616142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1616142

Simeon Mitropolitski (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

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