course
RI-SP096 | Autumn | 6 ECTS

Qualitative Methods in International Relations and Political Science - MIS

This course introduces participants, both theoretically and empirically, to the nuances, diversities, and practicalities of qualitative methods in Political Science/International Relations. It is designed to support students in the initial stages of their research process by providing an understanding of the theoretical grounds and ethical implications underpinning the elaboration of a research question, introducing a broad range of qualitative methods, and exploring concretely how qualitative methods can be applied in practice. The course is organized around three central themes. The first section introduces ontological and epistemological diversities in qualitative methods, as well as their methodological and ethical implications. The second section explores more specifically different epistemological approaches to qualitative research design, including comparative design, case studies, interpretivism, and feminist methodologies. The final section aims at supporting students practically in the conduct of qualitative research. Surveying with the students the methodological approaches they wish to adopt in their forthcoming research, three to four methods will be explored theoretically and practically in-depth, from the research design, to the collection of data, to the subsequent analysis. Possible methods will include interviews, discourse analysis, case studies, archival research, focus group discussion, or ethnographies.