Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar
Chapter 32: Qualitative approaches to democratic innovations
Qualitative approaches to democratic innovations are less frequent that quantitative methods, but provide crucial understanding of the limits and potential of democratic innovations. Based mostly on interviews and ethnography, qualitative approaches appear useful to investigate in particular three type of research questions. First, why democratic innovations appear and take the form they do? Then, how deliberation takes place within democratic innovations and what type of power relationship occur? Finally, what effects it produces on both participants and public policies. The uneven distribution of qualitative approaches to democratic innovations across countries stems from different epistemological and methodological traditions, quantitative methods being especially dominant in anglo-saxon and nothern countries. The future of the field probably lies in greater interactions between qualitative and quantitative researchers.
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