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Rethinking Comparison in the Social Sciences: Promises and Possibilities

Tuesday, September 28, 10:00-11:30am PDT

The round table will bring together scholars who have contributed chapters to the forthcoming volume, Rethinking Comparison: Innovative Methods for Qualitative Political Research. The authors will convene to explore together the motivating questions for the volume: (1) why do we compare what we compare and (2) how do the methodological assumptions we make about why and how we compare shape the knowledge we produce? We believe these are two of the most fundamental methodological questions in the social sciences.

Chair: Erica S. Simmons, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Nicholas Rush Smith
Jonathan Obert, Amherst College
Benjamin L. Read, University of California, Santa Cruz

Reconsidering the Field: Researchers, Subjects, and Positionality

Wednesday, September 29, 2:00-3:30pm PDT

Chair: Sean Yom, Temple University

Sean Yom, Temple University, “Becoming Othered, Thrice: Race, Positionality, and Fieldwork”

Aarie Glas, Northern Illinois University; Alesha Porisky, Northern Illinois University, “Insiders, Outsiders, and Credible Visitors in Elite Interviewing"
Andres Besserer Rayas, The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Robert Courtney Smith, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College, and Sociology, Grad Center CUNY, “Strategic Sites as a Tool of Ethnography for Political Science”

Carissa Ann Cunningham, Rutgers University; Summer Lindsey, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Michael FitzGerald, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, “Unbounding the “Field” of Field Research: A Feminist Reconceptualization”

Discussant: Erica S. Simmons, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"Yes, And": Graduate Students Conducting Qualitative Methods During/After COVID

Wednesday, September 29, 2:00-3:30PDT

This panel offer a space for current graduate students to reflect on lost opportunities for conducting fieldwork in light of COVID19, but with an eye toward pivoting and challenging ourselves to say “yes, and” (in the spirit of LeeAnn Fujii) in coming up with new directions and modes of qualitative research.

Chair: Marnie - Howlett, University of Oxford
Lauren C. Konken, Princeton University
Charmaine N. Willis, University at Albany, SUNY
Colleen Wood, Columbia University
Gözde Böcü, University of Toronto
Ramon Garibaldo Valdez, Yale University
Luisa Fernanda Turbino Torres
Shauna N Gillooly, University of California, Irvine

Ethics and Epistemology in Political Science Virtual Poster Session

Thursday, September 30, 6:00am PDT

Poster session of papers relating to epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of social science

Dustin Ellis, University of Oregon, “Seeing Like a Political Scientist”
Nicholas Geiser, Wheaton College, “What is Naturalism in Political Science?”

Collaborative Methodology for Political Science: A Critical Exploration

Friday, October 1, 2:00-3:30pm PDF (Friday, October 1, 5:00-6:30pm EDT), TBA

Collaborative methodology is a mode of working with research stakeholders rather than on research subjects. The purpose of this panel is to define some of the practices that can fit within a collaborative methodological framework, and discuss how the notion and practice of collaborative methodologies can augment the study of political science.

Chair: Mneesha Gellman, Emerson College
Susan M. Thomson, Colgate University
Lauren M. MacLean, Indiana University, Bloomington
Jennifer Cyr, Universidad Torcuato di Tella
Thomas E. Flores, George Mason University
Naomi Levy, Santa Clara University
Julie Norman, UCL
Pamina Firchow, Brandeis University

Author Meets Critics: James Mahoney's "The Logic of Social Science" (Pre-Recorded)

Friday, October 1, 4:00-5:30 PDT

In The Logic of Social Science, James Mahoney offers new principles for designing and conducting social research. He develops a scientific constructivist approach that uses set-theoretic analysis to avoid essentialist biases in the production of knowledge. This scientific constructivist approach recognizes that social categories depend on collective understandings for their existence, but it insists that this recognition need not hinder the use of explicit procedures for the rational assessment of truth. Mahoney shows why set-theoretic analysis enables scholars to avoid the pitfalls of essentialism and produce findings that rest on a firm scientific foundation.

Chair: Alan M. Jacobs, University of British Columbia
Gary Goertz, University of Notre Dame
James Mahoney, Northwestern University
Hillel David Soifer, Temple University
Jennifer Cyr, Universidad Torcuato di Tella
Carsten Q. Schneider, Central European University PU

Qualitative Research: Rethinking Boundaries and Expanding Frontiers

Saturday, October 2, 10:00-11:30am PDT

This panel presents papers that break new ground by expanding the boundaries of qualitative research, reconsidering methodological boundaries within qualitative research, and pushing qualitative research to address underappreciated inferential issues involving physical boundaries—namely, spatial units of analysis.

Chair: Andrew Bennett, Georgetown University

Stephan Haggard, University of California, San Diego; Gary Goertz, University of Notre Dame, “Large-N Qualitative Analysis”

Tasha A. Fairfield, London School of Economics; Andrew Charman, University of California, Berkeley “Unifying Process-Tracing and Comparative Analysis: A Bayesian Framework”

Hillel David Soifer, Temple University “Selecting Units of Analysis in Qualitative Research”

Tranae Hardy, Georgetown University; Diana Kapiszewski, Georgetown University; Daniel Solomon, Georgetown University “Mapping Methods in Contemporary Political Science Research”

Discussant: Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Discussant: Cassandra V. Emmons, Harvard University

Text Analysis Techniques and Rhetoric

Saturday, October 2, 4:00 to 5:30pm PDT

Chair: Amber Wichowsky, Marquette University

Claudia Roberta Combei, University of Bologna; Frank Maracchione, University of Sheffield, “China & USA through Italian Eyes: A Multi-methods Study on Twitter Communication” (Pre-Recorded)

Meghan Condon, Loyola University Chicago; Amber Wichowsky, Marquette University “Framing Inequality: Campaign Rhetoric in the New Gilded Age” (Pre-Recorded)

Elizabeth Bloodgood, Concordia University; Anthony James DeMattee, Emory University, Takumi Shibaike, European University Institute “Laws in Translations: Translating Legal Text for Research Purposes”

Discussant: Jonathan Hassid, Iowa State University

Process Tracing and Causal Mechanisms

Sunday, October 3, 6:00-7:30am PDT

Chair: Ingo Rohlfing, Universität zu Köln

Lion Behrens, University of Mannheim; Ingo Rohlfing, Universität zu Köln, “Bayesian Nested Analysis”

Jeffrey T. Checkel, European University Institute, “Process Tracing - Towards a New Research Agenda”

Christopher Clarke, University of Cambridge, “What is Distinctive about Process Tracing?”

Discussant: Ezequiel Alejo Gonzalez Ocantos, University of Oxford


Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry
346 Eggers Hall