Chapter 29: Planning, conducting, and analyzing interviews
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This chapter examines the uses and limitations of interviews as a data collection method in international relations research. By allowing the researcher to get "inside the head" of relevant decision-makers and other actors, interviews can generate valuable insight into the processes that shape outcomes of interest and, in doing so, provide unique leverage for describing and explaining complex phenomena in international relations. However, interviews are neither necessary nor suitable for all research questions, and the usefulness of interviews will depend on the rigor of the interview design and implementation. To this end, this chapter considers various theoretical and practical issues in interview research in international relations, including the purposes and types of interviews in a broader research design and specific modalities relating to ethics, sampling, question design and ordering, data management, and analysis.

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