Universiteit Leiden

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Master Class on The Art and Craft of Ethnographic Comparison

woensdag 17 april 2019
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP Den Haag

Is it possible to compare French presidential politics with village leadership in rural India? Most social scientists – even those of opposing methodological and philosophical persuasions – are united in thinking such unlikely juxtapositions are not feasible. I think they are. The aim of this Masterclass is to explain why and how. I start from the interpretivist premise that we can and should embrace creatively comparative work. I will then briefly consider: How can we compare in interpretive research? How do we design a comparative interpretive project? How do we undertake comparative interpretive fieldwork? How do we interpret and analyse comparative data? and How do we communicate the findings of comparative interpretive research? The advice in each revolves around ‘rules of thumb’, grounded in experience, and illustrated through stories and examples from my own research in different contexts around the world.

Kindly read chapter one from this draft to prepare for this master class.


About the speaker

Jack Corbett is Professor of Politics at the University of Southampton. He is the author of Democracy in Small States: Persisting Against All Odds (Oxford University Press, 2018) with Wouter Veenendaal; Australia’s Foreign Aid Dilemma: Humanitarian Aspirations Confront Democratic Legitimacy (Routledge 2017); Bearing Witness: Essays in Honour of Brij V. Lal (Australian National University Press, 2017) co-edited with Doug Munro; Being Political: Leadership and Democracy in the Pacific Islands (University of Hawaii Press, 2015); and Political Life Writing in the Pacific: Reflections on Practice (Australian National University Press, 2015) co-edited with Brij. V. Lal. Corbett has published more than 50 journal articles and book chapters since 2012. He is co-editor of the University of Hawaii Press Topics in the Contemporary Pacific book series, the Routledge Studies in Anti-Politics and Democratic Crisis book series, and is deputy editor of Small States and Territories Journal.

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