Active citation: A precondition for replicable qualitative research

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Qualitative research dominates political science. In the field of international relations (IR), for example, about 70% of scholars primarily employ qualitative methods, compared to 21% favoring formal or quantitative analysis (Jordan et al. 2009). Since nearly all of the latter make secondary use of textual and historical methods, overall over 90% of IR scholars employ qualitative analysis, whereas 48% use any statistical and only 12% any formal methods. This understates the dominance of qualitative analysis, for many statistical data sets rest ultimately on historical work, and IR scholars, when polled, report that qualitative case studies are more relevant for policy than quantitative or formal work. Hardly any major IR debatewhether that over the end of the cold war, American unipolarity, Chinese foreign policy, the nature of European integration, compliance with international law, democratic peace, the causes of war, or the impact of human rights normsremains untouched by important qualitative contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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