Thursday, September 16, 2010

Qualitative Methods in International Relation: a Pluralist Guide

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Audie Klotz, Deepa Prakash
Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 - 260pages

The main terrain of methodological disputes in the social sciences is empirical research, including the delineation of legitimate research questions, allocation of funding for projects, and employment in the profession. Yet we still lack practical answers to one of the most basic questions: How should researchers interpret meanings? The contributors take seriously the goals of both post-modernist and positivist researchers, as they offer detailed guidance on how to apply specific tools of analysis and how to circumvent their inherent limitations. Readers will understand what is at stake in selecting from discourse, speech acts, and semiotics – or even content analysis. Researchers will be able to decide when to combine tools drawn from different analytical traditions – perhaps discourse analysis to inform the construction of a dictionary for context-sensitive computerized coding. The results will be deeper interdisciplinary understanding and better research.

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