Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: Organizations, Publication, and Reflections on Integration
Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology, pp. 780-795, 2008
17 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2011 Last revised: 16 Apr 2016
Date Written: 2008
Qualitative and multi-method research in political science has undergone a remarkable transformation. After a long period of relative quiescence, in roughly the past 15 years this branch of methodology has experienced a resurgence, and a considerable body of new research has emerged. Under this methodological umbrella we find diverse tools, including small-N comparative analysis, the comparative case-study method, ethnography, constructivism, and interpretivism. Against the backdrop of a larger movement in political science advocating greater methodological pluralism, new organizations have been established to institutionalize scholarly communication and training. Moreover, mainstream scholarly outlets have come to recognize the importance of this approach, and publications in this tradition have increasingly appeared in leading journals and from leading academic presses. Many qualitative/multi-method scholars seek to maintain strong connections with quantitative methodologists. At the same time, just as occurred with the formation some years ago of the APSA organized section for quantitative methods – with the goal of creating an arena in which scholars in that tradition could closely engage in one another’s work; so qualitative/multi-method scholars see substantial need for separate organizations to help sustain their own approach.
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