#TTmethods – Session 1: Case studies, qualitative methods and diachronic perspectives

21 September 2015
SERIES Methods for researching think tanks 6 items

September 21st 2015; 1pm BST – Session 1: Case studies, qualitative methods and diachronic perspectives Marcos Gonzalez-Hernando (University of Cambridge)

Watch the session live below. If you’re not on the Hangout, you can also participate by including comments in the section below or on Twitter using the hashtag #TTmethods.

You can watch the webinars on Social Network Analysis and Quantitative Survey Analysis. And if you want, you can catch-up with the Pre-launch event held in London in August there is a video watch and a discussion paper to read.

Those who wish to generalise about think tanks face at least three important hurdles. Firstly, their remarkable institutional diversity. Secondly, the high degree of instability of these organisations, which depend to a great degree on the movements and expertise of key individuals. Finally, the richness of the data available about them and what they advocate for (across policy reports, parliamentary advice, blogs, media appearances, etc). Consequently, this session will explore how studies of think-tanks have relied on an array of qualitative methods – including interviews, ethnography, document analysis – to study these organisations from a closer perspective. I will argue that qualitative methods are especially well-suited when attempting to describe changes through time, which, importantly, in the case of think tanks generally take both an institutional and an intellectual form.

For more information on this method: Case studies, qualitative methods and diachronic perspectives

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