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The Practice of Elite Interviewing in Politicised Policy Areas

By: & Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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This case study takes as its focus the deployment of the elite interview method in politicised policy areas. It draws upon the experiences garnered from two research projects – one focusing upon terrorism and the other on sex trafficking – to consider the realities of interviewing experts with recognised knowledge and power in fields that are characterised by contestation. We cast a critically reflexive eye over three key stages of the fieldwork process: pre-interview, interview and post-interview. In so doing, we outline both the advantages of the method for gaining an insight into the competing perspectives of individuals and organisations engaged in policy-relevant debates, and the apparent complexities associated with interviewing people who are considered experts in their field.

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