As mentioned in the section on “Collecting Data”, qualitative data refers to data that typically cannot be counted but which describe the qualities or attributes of a research subject. While quantitative analysis often involves making inferences based on large numbers of cases, qualitative analysis often focuses on a few or even a single case study. [See Sampling and Case Selection.]
In this guide, we include discussion and resources on the following qualitative methods of analysis:
- Historical Analysis
- Path Dependency
- Process Tracing
- Bennett, A., and A. L George. 2001. “Case studies and process tracing in history and political science: similar strokes for different foci.” In Bridges and Boundaries: Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study of International Relations, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p. 137–166.
- Lustick, Ian S. 1996. “History, Historiography, and Political Science: Multiple Historical Records and the Problem of Selection Bias.” The American Political Science Review 90(3): 605-618.
- Wolcott, Harry F. 1994. Transforming qualitative data. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.
updated August 3, 2017 – MN