Article

Methodological Developments in Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Migration Research

Victor Asal, Stephen Shellman and Tiffiany Howard

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies

Published in print March 2010 |
Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190846626 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.013.460

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  • Qualitative Political Methodology

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In terms of methods, researchers working in nationalism, ethnicity, and migration have used everything from broad historical narratives to automated coding and event data analysis. Traditionally, narratives were the dominant methodological approach implemented to study these areas. The narrative approach allowed for explication of groundbreaking theoretical arguments generating testable hypotheses, the deep inspection of particular areas of the world or particular issues with richness of detail and process, and the investigation of a small number of cases. In addition, the use of formal theory to explore issues related to nationalism, ethnicity, and migration also has a long tradition. Formal theory allows for the construction of concise decision making models that force the researcher to be explicit about key assumptions made regarding preferences and the political structure involved. The formal theory approach has encouraged greater specificity from the arguments formed by scholars of nationalism, ethnicity, and immigration and has generated important theoretical insights. Finally, the most rapidly expanding approach to the study of nationalism, ethnicity, and immigration over the past two decades has been statistics. Statistical analyses offer the advantage of being able to bracket confidence intervals around the causal inferences one makes and to more formally control for a variety of competing factors. As statistical technology and training have become more common, the use of statistics has grown substantially.

Keywords: nationalism; ethnicity; migration; narratives; formal theory; statistics; forced migration

Article.  12571 words. 

Subjects: Qualitative Political Methodology

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