Triangulating debates within the field: Teaching international relations research methodology
Howard, P. (2010). Triangulating debates within the field : Teaching international relations research methodology. International Studies Perspectives, 11(4), 393-408.
Undergraduate introductory methods courses offer a unique opportunity to bring methodological pluralism to the field by teaching students multiple approaches to research. This article presents one way to organize an introductory undergraduate research methods course. By focusing on central debates between methodological approaches on issues of causality, context, and essentialism, an instructor can introduce positivism, interpretivism, and relationalism as distinct, coherent methodological approaches to research. Depicting these three debates and three approaches graphically on a triangle can illuminate some core methodological debates within the field today. It also illuminates the methodological underpinnings of many of the discipline's theoretical debates.
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