Advanced Qualitative Methods in Conflict Studies

Time:

29 Aug 2022 - 02 Sep 2022
Place:

PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo
Organizer:

Jørgen Jensehaugen: jorjen@prio.org
Credits:

Equals 10 ECTS (with approved essay) according to standards of University of Oslo
Contact:

Jeffrey T. Checkel: jeffrey.checkel@eui.eu
Lecturers:

Jeffrey T. Checkel: Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute (Florence), and PRIO Global Fellow.

​This course provides an in-depth introduction to case-based methods and process analytics. We begin with some preliminaries (epistemology, ethics, transparency) and then survey key methods, including case studies, case selection and several techniques designed to capture process. The latter include interviewing, practice analytics and process tracing. Whenever possible, students will be introduced to both the positivist and interpretive variants of particular methods.  

Application deadline 1 May 2022.

Course Description:

​This course provides an in-depth introduction to case-based methods and process analytics. We begin with some preliminaries (epistemology, ethics, transparency) and then survey key methods, including case studies, case selection and several techniques designed to capture process. The latter include interviewing, practice analytics and process tracing. Whenever possible, students will be introduced to both the positivist and interpretive variants of particular methods.  

In the course's second part, we move from the conceptual to the applied, examining case and process methods in action - in conflict zones and post-conflict settings. Epistemology, ethics, measurement and data-access/transparency are key themes throughout. The fundamental goal is for students to acquire sufficient knowledge to be smart, epistemologically plural and rigorous users of case-based research in conflict and post-conflict settings.

The course is free of charge, but participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. 

Deadlines:

​Application deadline: 1 May 2022.

Successful applicants will be notified by mid-May 2022

Requirements:

There are two mandatory requirements; two others are optional. Note that optional requirement 3 is mandatory if you want to receive ECTS credits.

Mandatory:

  1. Active Participation in Class Discussions
    The course will be run as a seminar, where debate and discussion are the norm; for each session, written discussion questions will serve as our starting point. For this format to be successful, students need to read the seminar readings prior to our first meeting on 29 August. 

  2. Preparation of Discussion Points
    For each class session, students should prepare a brief list of discussion questions and comments (3-5 in number); these should be based on the readings and will be distributed to all other seminar participants. (Please make sufficient copies for distribution!) Your questions/comments should reflect a critical assessment of those readings. What are their strong and weak points? Their meta-theoretical, theoretical, methodological, ethical, empirical contributions/limitations? How do they relate to or build upon other readings or discussions? 

Optional:

  1. Completion of an Analytic Essay
    If students wish to receive ECTS credit for the course, they must submit an analytic essay. You have two options. (I) Prepare an analytic review on a topic that is of special interest and is consistent with the course's purpose and theme; or (II) prepare a draft research design for a PhD project where qualitative methods and process analytics play some role. In either case, essays should be 6000-10000 words. 

  2. Participation in Half-Day Workshop
    On the afternoon of Wednesday, 31 August, 1330-1600, students will have the opportunity to attend a workshop, where, in a hands-on, group setting they will apply the case/process literature to their own PhD projects. The workshop – while not required – is open to all course participants. If you wish to have your dissertation project and its methods discussed, please upload to the seminar Dropbox a 3-
    page overview, and do so by Monday, 29 August. The overview should explain and justify your choice of methods and the practical/data-related/ethical challenges you are encountering 
    as you seek to operationalize them.

Admission:

​PhD students will normally be prioritized.

Course Literature:

See the course syllabus (pdf).