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Stephen M. Walt | Why I Use Qualitative Methods

September 13, 2019

Stephen M. Walt will explore the relationship between theory and empirical testing in International Relations, focusing in particular on the virtues (and vices) of qualitative research.  Professor Walt will explain why he has chosen to use qualitative methods throughout his career, and discuss how his views about social science methods have evolved over the past three decades.

Stephen Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs. He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as Master of the Social Science Collegiate Division and Deputy Dean of Social Sciences. He has been a Resident Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution, and he has also served as a consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the National Defense University. He presently serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and he also serves as Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press. Additionally, he was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005.

Suggested read by Stephen M. Walt:
“Leaving Theory Behind: Why Simplistic Hypothesis Testing is Bad for International Relations,” https://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/Leaving%20Theory%20Behind%20EJIR.pdf