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Conducting Elite Interviews to Explore Variations in Attitudes to Transparency Among Members of the European Parliament

By: Mark Field Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Political Science and International Relations
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This case study takes as its focus the use of the elite interview method to draw out differences in attitudes and beliefs of individuals involved in the policy-making process. It draws on the experience of conducting a research project into the transparency of the European Union institutions. While the case study briefly considers some of the well-established methodological issues around the notion of “elite” interviews, the article’s chief focus is on the challenges faced by the researcher in both arranging and conducting interviews with Members of the European Parliament. Drawing on some of the more complex aspects of the research project, the case study gives an account of the measures taken by the researcher to mitigate the “gatekeeper” problem and offers some practical advice to maximize the utility of expensive fieldwork time.

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