Workshop Home What is Interpretive Research? Organizing Committee Workshop Design and Application Process Workshop Schedule Sept. 1 Plenary Video Sept. 2 Plenary Video Plenary Readings Breakout Session Handouts Accepted Participants Reimbursement Form Related Activities
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Review Committee


This is a set of readings engaging or exemplifying interpretive methodologies/methods that organizers and presenters/facilitators have written and/or found of interest.


Berger, Peter L. and Luckmann, Thomas. 1966. The social construction of reality. NY: Anchor.

Bevir, Mark and Kedar, Asaf. 2008. Concept formation in political science: An anti-naturalist critique of qualitative methodology. Perspectives on Politics 6 (3): 503-17.

Bevir, Mark and Rhodes, R. A. W. 2002. Interpretive theory. In D. Marsh and G. Stoker, eds., Theory and methods in political science. London: Palgrave, 131-152.

Bevir, Mark and Rhodes, R. A. W. 2004. Interpretation as method, explanation, and critique: A reply. British Journal of Politics and International Relations 6: 156-161.

Brown, Richard H. 1976. Social theory as metaphor. Theory and society 3: 169-197.

Bruner, Jerome. 1990. Acts of meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Burke, Kenneth. 1969 [1945]. A grammar of motives. Berkeley: University of California.

Burke, Kenneth. 1989. On symbols and society. Ed. and with an introduction by Joseph R. Gusfield. Chicago: University of Chicago.

DeHaven-Smith, Lance. 1988. Philosophical critiques of policy analysis. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

Fay, Brian. 1975. Social theory and political practice. Boston: George Allen & Unwin.

Fish, Stanley. 1980. Is there a text in this class? The authority of interpretive communities. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Fujii, Lee Ann. 2010. Shades of truth and lies: Interpreting testimonies of war and violence. Journal of Peace Research [forthcoming].

Geertz, Clifford. 1973. The interpretation of cultures. NY: Basic Books.

Geertz, Clifford. 1983. Local knowledge. NY: Basic Books.

Goffman, Erving. 1959. The presentation of self in everyday life. NY: Doubleday Anchor.

Goffman, Erving. 1974. Frame analysis. NY: Harper & Row.

Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970. The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., enlarged.

Kuhn, Thomas S. 1977. The essential tension. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hawkesworth, M. E. 1988. Theoretical issues in policy analysis. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Jackson, Patrick T. 2006. Making sense of making sense: Configurational analysis and the double hermeneutic. In Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, eds., Interpretation and method: Empirical research methods and the interpretive turn, 264-280. Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.

Jackson, Patrick T. 2006. The present as history. In The Oxford handbook of contextual political analysis, eds. Charles Tilly and Robert Goodin. NY: Oxford University Press, 490-505.

Jackson, Patrick T. 2006. Statistics strikes out: A defense of genuine methodological diversity. InMaking Political Science Matter, eds. Stanford Schram and Brian Caterino. NY: New York University Press, 86-97.

Jackson, Patrick T. 2008. Foregrounding ontology: Dualism, monism, and IR theory. Review of International Studies 34/1: 129-153.

Jennings, Bruce. 1983. Interpretive social science and policy analysis. In Daniel Callahan and Bruce Jennings, eds., Ethics, the social sciences, and policy analysis. NY: Plenum, chapter 1.

Jennings, Bruce. 1987. Interpretation and the practice of policy analysis. In Frank Fischer and John Forester, eds., Confronting values in policy analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 128-152.

Klotz, Audie and Lynch, Cecelia. 2006. Translating terminologies. International Studies Review 8:2 (June).

Klotz, Audie and Lynch, Cecelia. 2007. Strategies for research in constructivist international relations. Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.

Kubik, Jan. 2009. Ethnography of politics: Foundations, applications, prospects. In Political ethnography: What immersion contributes to the study of power, Edward Schatz, ed. [forthcoming Fall]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kubik, Jan. 2009. Teaching interpretive methods. Qualitative Methods Newsletter, American Political Science Association [forthcoming Spring].

Oren, Ido. 2006. Can political science emulate the natural sciences? The problem of self-disconfirming analysis. Polity 38 (1): 72100.

Oren, Ido. 2009. The unrealism of contemporary realism: The tension between realist theory and realists practice. Perspectives on Politics 7 (2) [forthcoming June]

Polanyi, Michael. 1966. The tacit dimension. NY: Doubleday.

Polanyi, Michael and Prosch, Harry. 1975. Meaning. Chicago: University of Chicago.

Polkinghorne, Donald. 1983. Methodology for the human sciences. Albany: SUNY Press.

Polkinghorne, Donald. 1988. Narrative knowing and the human sciences. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Rabinow, Paul and Sullivan, William M., eds. 1979, 1985. Interpretive social science, 1st and 2nd eds. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Ricoeur, Paul. 1971. The model of the text: Meaningful action considered as text. Social Research 38: 529-562.

Rorty, Richard. 1979. Philosophy and the mirror of nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Schutz, Alfred. 1967. The phenomenology of the social world. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.

Schutz, Alfred. 1973. Concept and theory formation in the social sciences. Collected papers, Vol. 1 (Maurice Natanson, ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 48-66.

Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine. 2006. Judging quality: Evaluative criteria and epistemic communities. In Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, eds.Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 89-113.

Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine. 2009. Teaching interpretive methods in political science: The challenges of recognition and legitimacy.Qualitative Methods (Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organized section for Qualitative & Multi-Method Research). [forthcoming Spring].

Taylor, Charles. 1971. Interpretation and the sciences of man. Review of Metaphysics 25: 3-51.

Schaffer, Frederic Charles. 2006. Ordinary language interviewing. In interpretation and method: Empirical research methods and the interpretive turn, eds. Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea. Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.

Yanow, Dvora. 2000. Conducting interpretive policy analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Yanow, Dvora and Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine, eds. 2006. Interpretation and method: Empirical research methods and the interpretive turn. Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.

Language-centered Methodologies

Austin, J. L. 1975. How to do things with words, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Cavell, Stanley. 1976. Must we mean what we say? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Howland, Douglas R. 2003. The predicament of ideas in culture: Translation and historiography. History and Theory 42:45-60.

Hymes, Dell. 1970. Linguistic aspects of comparative political research. In The methodology of comparative research, eds. Robert T. Holt and John E. Turner. New York: Free Press.

Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, fire and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Nida, Eugene A. and William D. Reyburn. 1981. Meaning across culture. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis.

Pitkin, Hanna. 1972. Wittgenstein and justice. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Richter, Melvin. 2005. More than a two-way traffic: Analyzing, translating, and comparing political concepts from other cultures. Contributions to the History of Concepts 1,1 (March): 7-20.

Rieder, Jonathan. 1994. Doing political culture: Interpretive practice and the earnest heuristic. Research on Democracy and Society (2): 117-151.

Winch, Peter. 1964. Understanding a primitive society. American Philosophical Quarterly 1: 307-324.

Winch, Peter. 1967. The idea of a social science and its relation to philosophy. New York: Humanities Press.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1958. Philosophical investigations, 3rd ed., transl. G.E.M. Ascombe. New York: Macmillan.


Bevir, Mark. 2006. Political studies as narrative and science, 1880-2000. Political Studies 54: 583-606.

Bevir, Mark and Rhodes, R. A. W. 2006. Governance Stories. London: Routledge.

Fujii, Lee Ann. 2009. Killing neighbors: Webs of violence in Rwanda. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Fujii, Lee Ann. 2008. The power of social ties: Popular participation in the Rwandan genocide. Security Studies 17: 568-97.

Hansen, Lene. 2006. Security as practice: Discourse analysis and the Bosnian war. London: Routledge.

Hummel, Ralph P. 1992. Stories managers tell: Why they are as valid as science. Public Administration Review 51/1: 31-41.

Jackson, Patrick T. 2004. Whose identity? Rhetorical commonplaces in American wartime foreign policy. In Identity and International Relations, eds. Patricia Goff and Kevin Dunn, 169-89. Palgrave Macmillan.

Jackson, Patrick T. 2006. Civilizing the Enemy: German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Oren, Ido. 2003. Our enemies and US: Americas rivalries and the making of political science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Oren, Ido. 1995. The subjectivity of the democratic peace: Changing U.S. perceptions of imperial Germany. International Security 20 (Fall): 14784.

Schaffer, Frederic C. 1998. Democracy in translation: Understanding politics in an unfamiliar culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Schaffer, Frederic Charles. 2008. Civic educators: Disciplinary reaction. In The hidden costs of clean election reform. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Schmidt, Mary R. 1993. Grout: Alternative kinds of knowledge and why they are ignored. Public Administration Review 53/6:525-530.

Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine, and Yanow, Dvora. 2002. Reading methods texts: How research methods texts construct political science.Political Research Quarterly, 55 (2), 457-486.

Soss, Joe. 2000. Unwanted claims: The politics of participation in the U.S. welfare system. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Wedeen, Lisa. 1999. Ambiguities of domination: politics, rhetoric, and symbols in contemporary Syria. Chicago.

Wedeen, Lisa. 2008. Peripheral visions: Publics, power, and performance. Chicago.

Yanow, Dvora. 1996. How does a policy mean? Interpreting organizational and policy actions. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Yanow, Dvora. 2003. Constructing race and ethnicity in America: Category-making in public policy and administrative practices. Armonk, NY: M E Sharpe.

Language-centered Empirical Research

Ayalon, Ami. 1989. Dimuqratiyya, Hurriyya, Jumhuriyya: The modernization of the Arabic political vocabulary. Asian and African Studies 23 (March).

Ball, Terence, Farr, James and Hanson, Russell. 1989. Political innovation and conceptual change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, Raymond. 2000. Meaning, interpretation and international negotiation. Global Society 14, 3: 317-35.

Feitlowitz, Marguerite. 1998. A lexicon of terror: Argentina and the legacies of torture. New York: Oxford University Press.

Geertz, Clifford. 1990. Negara: The theatre state in nineteenth-century Bali. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Holy, Ladislav. 1994. Metaphors of the natural and the artificial in Czech political discourse. Man 29,4 (December): 809-29.

Hyden, Goran. 1970. Language and administration. In Development administration: The Kenyan experience, eds. Goran Hyden, Robert Jackson, and John Okumu. Nairobi: Oxford University Press.

Johnson, Chalmers. 1995. Omote (Explicit) and Ura (Implicit): Translating Japanese political terms. In Japan : Who governs? New York: W.W. Norton.

Kipnis, Andrew. 2006. Suzhi: A keyword approach. China Quarterly 186: 295-313.

Lewis, Bernard. 1988. The political language of Islam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Perry, Elizabeth J. 2008. Chinese conceptions of rights: From Mencius to Mao - and now. Perspectives on Politics 6/1: 37-50.

Schatzberg, Michael G. 1986. The metaphors of father and family. In The political economy of Cameroon, eds. Michael G. Schatzberg and I. William Zartman. New York: Praeger.

Scotton, Carol M.M. 1965. Some Swahili political words. Journal of Modern African Studies 3/4.

Yuezhi, Xiong. 2001. Liberty, Democracy, President: The translation and usage of some political terms in late Quing China. In New terms for new ideas: Western knowledge and lexical change in late Imperial China, eds. I. Amelung, M. Lackner and J. Kurtz. Leiden: Brill.


Lynch, Cecelia. 2008. Reflexivity in Research on Civil Society: Constructivist Perspectives. International Studies Review 10/4.

Yanow, Dvora, and Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine. 2008. Reforming Institutional Review Board policy: Issues in implementation and field research.PS: Political Science and Politics, 41 (3), 483-94.

This workshop is made possible through the generous support of the National Science Foundation and the University of Utah (US), University of Toronto (Canada), and Vrije Universteit (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).