Chapter 33: Interpretivism in international relations research
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This chapter aims to provide a practical guide for preparing, conducting, and evaluating interpretive methodologies in International Relations. After outlining the basic assumptions of interpretivism, it explains how these basics inform the types of research questions interpretivism can answer, and how it can answer them. Subsequently, four practical features of the interpretivist method are discussed - context, reflection, narrative, and ethics. Finally, this chapter will spend some effort in outlining how to guard against criticism, which, in a scholarly and policy environment keen on 'truths' about international politics, will likely raise its head. The main takeaway from this chapter should be that interpretive analysis, when executed well, succeeds in navigating our reliance on interpretation towards making meaningful, insightful, and accountable truth claims. Interpretivism is therefore especially well-suited for the study of inevitably complicated international political developments and phenomena.

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