Introduction: Doing Qualitative Research in Politics: Building Theory and Formulating Policy

  • Angela Kachuyevski
  • Lisa M. Samuel


Within the social sciences, a robust epistemological debate exists over how the study of social phenomena should be conducted in order to build empirical understanding and theoretical knowledge, and to inform policy making. In political science the result has been a tendency toward quantitative analysis, including large-n studies and formal models, given their purported relative strength in external validity. Qualitative researchers have been counseled to approximate the “scientific” approach, defined as following the conventions of quantitative models as closely as possible. Yet, many contextual and process-oriented research questions within political science are not conducive to quantitative analysis. In this introductory chapter, Kachuyevski and Samuel present the conceptual framework of the book, outlining both the validity and the utility of in-depth qualitative analysis, particularly in policy-relevant research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Kachuyevski
    • 1
  • Lisa M. Samuel
    • 2
  1. 1.Arcadia UniversityGlensideUSA
  2. 2.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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