Christian Bueger

PhD Course on the Methodology of Interviewing in Politics

Home of the Department of Politics and International Relations

On April 9th, 14:00-18:00, I am teaching together with Ian Stafford a PhD training course on different methodologies of interviews. The course provides an advanced introduction to the methodology of interviewing in a political science context. Along with text analysis, interviewing is perhaps the most widespread qualitative method used in political science and international relations. Interviewing is however not only one of the most complicated and resource intensive methods, but also requires a high degree of methodological reflexivity. In this short course we discuss the core problems of planning, conducting and interpreting interviews as well as writing with interview data. The course is suitable for PhD Researchers in Political Science and International Relations in all stages of their research. In the course we discuss the following issues:

  • What kind of data do interviews generate?
  • For which studies are interviews suitable?
  • How do methodological choices lead to different types of interviews?
  • What strategies for selecting interviewees are available?
  • How do different types of questions generate different types of data?
  • How can one master interview situations?
  • What technology can be used for interviews?
  • How can interviews be analysed and interpreted?
  • How can interview data be used in writing up results?

We will discuss the following literature:

Baker, Sarah Elsie, Rosalind Edwards, Peter Adler, Howard S Becker, and Andrea Doucet. “How Many Qualitative Interviews Is Enough ? Expert Voices and Early Career Reflections on Sampling Expert Voices.” National Centre for Research Methods Review Paper.
Harrison, John. 2008. “Stating the Production of Scales: Centrally Orchestrated Regionalism, Regionally Orchestrated Centralism.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32 (4): 922–941.
Morris, Zoë Slote. 2009. “The Truth About Interviewing Elites.” Politics 29 (3): 209–217.
Nicolini, Davide. 2009. “Articulating Practice through the Interview to the Double.” Management Learning 40 (2): 195–212.
Opdenakker, Raymond. 2006. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Four Interview Techniques in Qualitative Research.” Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/ Forum: Qualitative Social Research 7 (4).
Wagenaar, Hendrik. 2004. “‘Knowing’ the Rules: Administrative Work as Practice.” Public Administration Review 64 (6): 643–656.

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