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Interpretive empirical political science: What makes this not a subfield of qualitative methods

Yanow, Dvora

The new section on Qualitative Methods draws attention to the fact that “Political Methodology,” as the “old” methods section is called, does not encompass the whole range of research methods available to and used by scholars doing political research.  And yet some researchers feel that “qualitative” methodology itself does not capture the full range of non-quantitative methods used by political science researchers.  This was especially clear in the treatment of “qualitative methods” by several of the articles in the premiere issue of the newsletter:  they did not reflect the character of the work that is increasingly being subsumed under the heading “interpretive research methods.”  It seems appropriate, then, to delineate what interpretive research entails by contrasting it with qualitative methods.

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