Mixed-Methods in Political Science: How IR Scholars Respond to Benchmark Events


This case study explores how to integrate a mixed-methods approach into a political science research project. I combined qualitative interviews with a quantitative analysis to determine how major events in international politics affect what International Relations professors study. To determine a statistical relationship, I conducted a series of regressions on a database containing every IR journal article in the disciplines top 12 journals from 1980 to 2012. To explain this quantitative relationship, I conduct a series of semi-structured interviews with IR professors and use their insight to construct a narrative of how the relationship between academia and benchmark events plays out. By integrating the qualitative and quantitative components while addressing each research question, rather than conducting separate quantitative and qualitative analyses and combining them in a final section, I both demonstrate the relationship under study and elaborate a causal mechanism that explains why this relationship takes place.

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