POLS 531 Qualitative and Textual Research Methods
This course is designed to help students develop their research design skills in qualitative methods. The objective is to enable graduate students to create and critique sophisticated qualitative research designs in political science. In order to do so, the seminar explores the techniques, strengths, and limitations of qualitative methods by scrutinizing the logic and application of comparative case-studies, process-tracing, and discourse analysis. The course further takes on epistemological issues in the social sciences such as causality, theory testing, case selection, inference, and the philosophy of social science. Even though qualitative research can stand on its own, this course stresses the advantages of not viewing the qualitative methods in isolation from other methods. Accordingly, the course encourages the use and application of multi-method research in political science. It also aims to expose students to ethical considerations in research and publishing.