Describing, Representing, Interpreting

  • Guillaume Devin
  • Marie-Françoise Durand
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


To describe is also to represent and interpret. All three concepts may stand one for the other. The object of this book is therefore to single out each of these moments of research, without providing any other meaning than a didactic one. Indeed, behind those three concepts (description, representation, and interpretation) are research practices that, however different they may be, are complementary and raise specific questions and difficulties. This chapter explores them and serves as an introduction to a careful research. The favorite approach is both empirical and inductive: it starts with fieldwork and then seeks to find a general logic. It strives to solve a specific puzzle without losing track of the matter of general interest it raises. The scientific debate is open to discussion and may hence go forth.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillaume Devin
    • 1
  • Marie-Françoise Durand
    • 2
  1. 1.Sciences Po, Center for International Studies (CERI)ParisFrance
  2. 2.Sciences PoParisFrance

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