Conducting Qualitative Content Analysis Across Languages and Cultures


  • Sybille Reinke de Buitrago



language, culture, meaning-making, qualitative content analysis, United States, Germany, security policy, international terrorism, political science


In this article, I discuss the challenges of conducting a qualitative content analysis in more than one language. Doing research across languages requires detailed attendance to different ways of meaning-making and to the role of distinct (political) cultures. Furthermore, additional reflection is needed in order to become aware and consider one's own role in interpretation and meaning-making. Based on a research project on threat perceptions and enemy image constructions in American and German security policy relating to international terrorism after 9/11, I illustrate the development of a coding frame fitting to the distinct languages and (political) cultural backgrounds, as well as ways of reflection.


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Author Biography

Sybille Reinke de Buitrago

Dr. Sybille REINKE DE BUITRAGO is a researcher at the Police Academy of the Federal State of Niedersachsen (Polizeiakademie Niedersachsen), where she manages the externally funded research project VIDEOSTAR (Video-Based Strategies Against Radicalization). She is also a fellow at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In her research, she focuses on international relations, foreign policy, and security policy, in particular on identity, perception, emotions, and discourse. She has published, among others, in Global Affairs, Asian Politics & Policy, Journal of Terrorism Research, Journal of Strategic Security, Journal of International Political Theory, and Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft.




How to Cite

Reinke de Buitrago, S. (2019). Conducting Qualitative Content Analysis Across Languages and Cultures. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3).



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