Qualitative methods: The view from the subfields

Andrew Bennett, Colin Elman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Qualitative methods are currently undergoing a renaissance in political science, with a rich new literature developing and disseminating them and greatly increased attention to preparing scholars in their use. Although this is a discipline-wide phenomenon, at the same time political science continues to be differentiated along subfield lines. The collection of articles in this symposium describes the trajectory of qualitative methods in three of political science's empirical subfields: comparative politics, international relations (IR), and American politics. Although much of the new literature and training is self-consciously transdisciplinary, the subfields continue to exert a strong influence. These essays investigate the three empirical subfields to uncover some of the areas in which they have made more progress and therefore have particular strengths to share, to provide some examples of applications of qualitative methods outside of readers' own subfields, and to help make sure that future methodological opportunities offered by discipline-wide developments are not limited by subfield lacunas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • American politics
  • Case studies
  • Comparative politics
  • International relations
  • Qualitative methods
  • Research design
  • Research methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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