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


19 - 23 Aug 2019

PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo

​Jeffrey T. Checkel, Simon Fraser University and PRIO

Equals 10 ECTS (with approved essay) according to standards of University of Oslo

Marte Nilsen:

This seminar provides an in-depth introduction to case-based methods and process analytics. We begin with some preliminaries (epistemology, ethics, transparency) and then survey key methods, including case studies, case selection and several techniques designed to capture process. The latter include interviewing, practice analytics and process tracing. Whenever possible, students will be introduced to both the positivist and interpretive variants of particular methods.  

In the course's second part, we move from the conceptual to the applied, examining case and process methods in action - in conflict zones and post-conflict settings. Epistemology, ethics, measurement and data-access/transparency are key themes throughout. The fundamental goal is for students to acquire sufficient knowledge to be smart, epistemologically plural and rigorous users of case-based research in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Deadline: 5 May 2019 - The application form is now closed.

The accepted applicants will be notifed by the end of May.

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.


There are two mandatory requirements


1) Active Participation in Class Discussions: The course will be run as a seminar, where debate and discussion are the norm; for each session, written discussion questions will serve as our starting point.  For this format to be successful, students need to read all the seminar readings prior to our first meeting on 19 August.

 2) Preparation of Discussion Points: For each class session, students should prepare a brief list of discussion questions and comments (3-5 in number); these should be based on the readings and will be distributed to all other seminar participants.  (Please make sufficient copies for distribution!)  Your questions/comments should reflect a critical assessment of those readings. What are their strong and weak points?  Their meta-theoretical, theoretical, methodological, ethical, empirical contributions/limitations?  How do they relate to or build upon other readings or discussions?


1) Completion of an Analytic Essay: If students wish to receive ECTS credit for the course, they must submit an analytic essay.  You have two options.  (I) Prepare an analytic review on a topic that is of special interest and is consistent with the course's purpose and theme; or (II) prepare a draft research design for a PhD project where qualitative methods and process analytics play some role.  In either case, essays should be 6000-10000 words and are due by 29 November 2019.  On the first day of class – Monday, 19 August - students should provide the instructor with a 1-2 page introduction to their proposed essay.  These overviews will then be discussed at a one-on-one meetings during the course.

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.