Rola El-Husseini Dean
Insights from the field : Methodologies and research problems in empirical research on elites
Summary, in English
There appear to be no methodological works on empirical research in the Arab world and only a few recent works on methodologies of elite research. The purpose of this article is not to fill the gap in empirical research on the Arab world or to present groundbreaking discoveries on methodologies for elite research. Rather, it is to pave the way for future works in that direction. Another purpose is to test current research methodologies by applying them to the Arab world in an attempt to see whether new ones should be developed. The article provides insights into the methods (primarily semi-structured interviewing) used by researchers studying Arab elites at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. It also gives an explanation of the identification of the object of research (identification of the politically relevant elite, or PRE), shows the logistical problems encountered by the researchers, the channels of access used by them to approach elites, and how the researchers communicated with interviewees. The ego of the researcher and how it might influence the validity of the data is also examined, and anecdotes on elite research in the Arab world are provided.
Deutsches Orient-Institut, Hamburg
- Political Science
- ISSN: 0030-5227