Skip to main content

Transparency: The Revolution in Qualitative Research

  • Andrew Moravcsik (a1)

Qualitative political science, the use of textual evidence to reconstruct causal mechanisms across a limited number of cases, is currently undergoing a methodological revolution. Many qualitative scholars—whether they use traditional case-study analysis, analytic narrative, structured focused comparison, counterfactual analysis, process tracing, ethnographic and participant-observation, or other methods—now believe that the richness, rigor, and transparency of qualitative research ought to be fundamentally improved.

Hide All
American Political Science Association (APSA). 2012. Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science. (Changes adopted by the Committee on Professional Ethics, Rights, and Freedoms, July.) Available at:
American Political Science Association (APSA). 2013. “Guidelines for Data Access and Research Transparency for Qualitative Research in Political Science.” August 7. Available at:
Beach Derek, and Pedersen R. B.. 2013. Process-Tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Bennett Andrew, and Elman Colin. 2006. “Qualitative Research: Recent Developments in Case Study Methods.” Annual Review of Political Science 9: 455–76.
Bennett Andrew, and Elman Colin. 2007. “Case Study Methods in the International Relations Subfield.” Comparative Political Studies 40 (2): 170–95.
Bennett Andrew, and George Alexander. 2005. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Brady Henry, and Collier David, eds. 2004. Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Christensen T. J. 2011. Worse Than a Monolith: Alliance Politics and Problems of Coercive Diplomacy in Asia. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Elman Colin, and Elman M. F.. 2001. Bridges and Boundaries: Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study of International Relations. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Gaddis John. L. 2002. The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Geertz Clifford. 1973. “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture.” In The Interpretation of Cultures, ed. Geertz C., 330. New York: Basic Books.
Goertz Gary, and Mahoney James. 2012. A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Khong Yuen Foong. 1992. Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
King Gary, Keohane Robert O., and Verba Sidney. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Klotz Audie, and Prakash Deepa. 2009. Qualitative Methods in International Relations: A Pluralist Guide. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lieberman Evan S. 2010. “Bridging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide: Best Practices in the Development of Historically Oriented Replication Databases.” Annual Review of Political Science 13: 3759.
Lieshout Robert. 2012. “Europe United: Power Politics and the Making of the European Community by Sebastian Rosato (Review).” Journal of Cold War Studies 14: 234–37.
Moravcsik Andrew. 2010. “Active Citation: A Precondition for Replicable Qualitative Research.” PS: Political Science and Politics 43: 2935.
Moravcsik Andrew. 2012a. “Active Citation and Qualitative Political Science.” Qualitative & Multi-Method Research 10: 3337.
Moravcsik Andrew. 2012b. “Methodological Memo: How to Create Active Citations Using MSWord” (Unpublished Memorandum, Princeton University, March 2012). Available at:
Moravcsik Andrew. 2013a. “Did Power Politics Cause European Integration? Realist Theory Meets Qualitative Methods.” Security Studies 22: 118.
Moravcsik Andrew. 2013b. “An Example of an Active Citation: James Scovel on Thaddeus Stevens' Famous Quotation” (Methodological Memo, Princeton 2013). Available at:
. Moravcsik Andrew. forthcoming. “One Click Away: The Transparency Revolution in Qualitative International Relations.” Security Studies.
Mosley Layna. 2013. Interview Research in Political Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Rosato Sebastian. 2011. Europe United: Power Politics and the Making of the European Community. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Saunders Elizabeth. 2011. Leaders at War: How Presidents Shape Military Interventions. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Snyder Jack. 1989. The Ideology of the Offensive: Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Trachtenberg Marc. 2009. The Craft of International History: A Guide to Method. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Van Evera Steven. 1997. Guide to Methods for Students of Political Sciences. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 25
Total number of PDF views: 238 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1328 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.