Advanced Qualitative Methods in Conflict Studies: Case Research and Process Analytics


20 - 24 Aug 2018


PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo


Professor Jeffrey T. Checkel, PRIO Global Fellow and Simons Chair in International Law and Human Security, Simon Fraser University




Marte Nilsen,


This seminar provides an in-depth introduction to case-based methods and process analytics.  The first part surveys key methods, including case studies, case selection and a number of techniques designed to capture process.  The latter include practice analytics, process tracing, agent-based modeling, and interviewing.  Where ever appropriate, students will be introduced to both the positivist and interpretive variants of particular methods - interviewing and process tracing, for example.  In the course's second part, we move from the conceptual to the applied, examining key examples of case and process methods in action - in conflict zones and post-conflict settings.  Epistemology, ethics, data access, measurement and transparency are key themes throughout.  The fundamental goal is for students to acquire sufficient knowledge to be smart and rigorous users of case-based research in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Deadline: 1 June, 2018.

Course Description:

The course will be run as a seminar, where debate and discussion are the norm; for each session, students will prepare a set of questions that structure our discussions. On the break day in the course (Wednesday, 22 August), students will have the opportunity to attend a half-day informal workshop, where, in a hands-on, group setting, they will apply the case/process literature to their own PhD projects.


To earn the 10 ECTS credits, students must submit an essay that is marked as "pass".

The course is free of charge, but students will have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. 

PhD students will normally be prioritized.

Course Literature:

Key course texts include:

Bennett and Checkel, Process Tracing: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool
della Porta and Keating, Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences: A Pluralist Perspective; Fujii,Relational Interviewing for Social Science Research: An Interpretive Approach
The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding; Carpenter, Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond
Cohen, Rape during Civil War;  
Narrative and the Making of US National Security.

Please address any application questions to Marte Nilsen.