Introduction to Research Methods

Methods are specific ways of doing things. If the methods are both within the reach/means of the researcher, and used correctly so they are likely to provide the information or insight needed to answer a research question, then this would be what academics call a valid research methodology. Levels of analysis is a vital component of any good methodology. When used to help shape other valid research methods, such as interviews, fieldwork, surveys – and even the basic academic staple of textual analysis (reading different available sources such as journal articles, books and other documents) – it will help to produce answers that are both self-aware (of their limits) and persuasive. As a student, then, persuasion is the key. It is not your job to find correct answers as these rarely exist in the questions that International Relations generates. Rather, the key to a successful research strategy is to gather relevant information and use appropriate methods in order to reach a well-crafted analysis. In this sense, it is not just what you say or write that is important in academic work, but also how you express it. Text adapted from McGlinchey, Stephen (2022). Foundations of International Relations. London: Bloomsbury.

The resources below have been curated by the E-International Relations team to give a broad overview and introduction to the methods used in International Relations. Find more methods resources on our methods homepage.

Introductory overviews

What is Research Methodology? By ‘PHILO-Notes’ via Youtube

What are Research Methods. By SAGE Publishing via Youtube

How to get clear about method, methodology, epistemology and ontology by David James via YouTube

Introduction to research methods and methodologies by the University of Liverpool via Youtube

Research Methods: Why do we research? By the University of Ghana via YouTube

Website / Textual resources

Glossary of Research Terms by the University of Southern California Library.

Research Methods Knowledge Base by William M.K. Trochim.

What is Primary Research and How do I get Started? By Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Research Methods by Lumen Learning.

Digging Deeper: More advanced debates and perspectives

NCRM Podcasts, sharing the latest methodological developments, research findings and ideas and discussing their potential and actual impact. By the National Centre for Research Methods.

Research Methods are Fun! Podcast by Laura Huey (Spotify)

Research in Action, Podcast Dr. Katie Linder (Apple Podcasts)

University of Leicester Podcasts on Research Methods (website)

Voiceblind: Matters of Methodology, Podcast from Arias Amsterdam (Soundcloud)

Research Methodology Podcasts from Stanford University (Website)

Further Reading on E-International Relations

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