Participant Observation in Political Science: Methodological Reflection and Field Report

Helmar Schöne


The usage of participant observation in empirical studies in political science has been rare and moreover the reflection of the underlying theories and methods has been very unsatisfactory. After a theoretical introduction this article shows a way of applying participant observation efficiently to political science research, based on the practical and methodical experience from two research projects on parliamentarism. The article discusses the chances of cognition provided by participant observation and suggests solutions to problems that emerge during the preparation of survey instruments, during the field work and during the data analysis.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0302202


political science; parliament; participant observation; legislative studies; qualitative research; research methods in political science; politicians; political behavior

Copyright (c) 2003 Helmar Schöne

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