International Organizations and Research Methods

An Introduction

Subjects: Political Science, Political Methodology
Paperback : 9780472056224, 410 pages, 7 tables, 15 figures, 6 x 9, August 2023
Hardcover : 9780472076222, 410 pages, 7 tables, 15 figures, 6 x 9, August 2023
Open Access : 9780472903542, 410 pages, 7 tables, 15 figures, 6 x 9, August 2023
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Methodologies for the study of International organizations

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION. Rethinking Methods of Investigation and International Organizations
Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
PART 1. OBSERVING          
Introduction: Observing        
Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
Chapter 1. Direct Observation          
Kari De Pryck and Svenja Rauch
Box a. Observing Spatial Practices   
Fiona McConnell
Box b. Digital Observation   
Mélanie Albaret
Chapter 2. Participant Observation   
Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
Box c. Multipositionality      
Simon Tordjman
Box d. Carnal Sociology       
Julie Patarin-Jossec
Box e. Exiting Fieldwork
Frédéric Mérand
Chapter 3. Ethnographic Interviews
Leah R. Kimber and Emilie Dairon
Box f. Reversed Photo-Elicitation
Leah R. Kimber
Interlude I. Frictions of Distance and Proximity. Observing IOs in Action
Birgit Müller
Introduction: Interviewing    
Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
Chapter 4. Surveys
Clara Egger and Monique J. Beerli
Box g. Languages and Interviews
James Worrall
Box h. Focus Groups
Marie Saiget
Chapter 5. Semi-Structured Interviews
Mélanie Albaret and Joan Deas
Box i. Interviewing “Beneficiaries”
Lucie Laplace
Box j. Asymetrical interviews
Emilie Dairon
Chapter 6. Biographic Interviews
Monique J. Beerli
Box k. Online Interviews
Leah R. Kimber
Interlude II. Controversies in Interview Research
Annabelle Littoz-Monnet
Introduction: Documenting   
Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
Chapter 7. Legal Research
Ian Hurd
Chapter 8. Archives   
Ellen J. Ravndal
Box l. Visual Archives          
Valérie Gorin
Chapter 9. Visual Methods    
Valérie Gorin
Box m. Analyzing Maps        
Benoît Martin
Box n. Branding Analysis     
Stefan Tschauko
Box o. Artifact Analysis        
Julian Eckl
Chapter 10. Document Analysis: a praxiographic approach
Christian Bueger
Box p. Semiology of Websites          
Camille Rondot
Box q. Analyzing Tweets      
Matthias Hofferberth
Chapter 11. Discourse Analysis        
Audrey Alejandro, Marion Laurence and Lucile Maertens
Box r. Studying Ideas
Olivier Nay
Chapter 12. Statistics and Quantification
Roser Cussó and Laure Piguet
Box s. Analyzing Charts, Infographics and Dataviz
Benoît Martin
Chapter 13. Budget Analysis
Svanhildur Thorvaldsdottir and Ronny Patz
Interlude III. What IOs Talk about When They Talk about Themselves, and How They Do It
Davide Rodogno
Introduction: Measuring
Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
Chapter 14. Voting Analysis
Erik Voeten
Chapter 15. Statistical Analyses with IO Data          
Fabien Cottier and Heidrun Bohnet
Box t. Navigating Human Resource Statistics          
Fanny Badache
Chapter 16. Large-N Data and Quantitative Analyses          
Charles B. Roger
Chapter 17. Computerized Text Analysis     
Mor Mitrani and Inbar Noy
Chapter 18. Multiple Correspondence Analysis       
Constantin Brissaud
Box u. Building Databases on Individuals
Kseniya Oksamytna
Chapter 19. Social Network Analysis
Anna-Luise Chané
Interlude IV. Challenging IOs through Numbers
Simon Hug
Introduction: Combining
Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens
Chapter 20. Interviews and Observations
Kari De Pryck
Box v. Challenging Secrecy  
Olivier Schmitt
Chapter 21. Observation, Interviews and Archives
Marieke Louis
Chapter 22. Computational Text Analysis and Archival Methods   
Evan Easton-Calabria and William Allen
Chapter 23. Qualitative Comparative Analysis         
Ryan Federo
Chapter 24. Structured, Focused Comparison          
Vytautas Jankauskas, Steffen Eckhard and Jörn Ege
Chapter 25. Process Tracing
Svenja Rauch
Chapter 26. Prosopography   
Aykiz Dogan and Frédéric Lebaron
Box w. Research with LinkedIn        
Monique J. Beerli
Chapter 27. Practice Analysis
Vincent Pouliot
Chapter 28. Feminist Approaches
Georgina Holmes
Box x. Postcolonial Insights  
Soumita Basu
Box y. Reflexivity in Practice
Audrey Alejandro
Chapter 29. Composing Collages: Working at the Edge of Disciplinary Boundaries
Anna Leander
Box z. Expeditions as a Research Method
Doaa Abdel-Motaal
Interlude V. Controversies on Methodological Pluralism
J. Samuel Barkin


Scholars have studied international organizations (IOs) in many disciplines, thus generating important theoretical developments. Yet a proper assessment and a broad discussion of the methods used to research these organizations are lacking. Which methods are being used to study IOs and in what ways? Do we need a specific methodology applied to the case of IOs? What are the concrete methodological challenges when doing research on IOs? International Organizations and Research Methods: An Introduction compiles an inventory of the methods developed in the study of IOs under the five headings of Observing, Interviewing, Documenting, Measuring, and Combining. It does not reconcile diverging views on the purpose and meaning of IO scholarship, but creates a space for scholars and students embedded in different academic traditions to reflect on methodological choices and the way they impact knowledge production on IOs.

Fanny Badache is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Leah R. Kimber is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University and Research Associate at the University of Geneva.

Lucile Maertens is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Lausanne.

“This book is a terrific achievement. It not only provides the novice and the experienced researcher with a complete menu of methods to choose from when analyzing international organizations. The authors also take care to address cross-cutting questions of epistemology, positionality, and research ethics that we should all be aware of.” 

- Jens Steffek, Technische Universität Darmstadt

“Politicians, pundits, and the public undervalue international organizations. Too few scholars understand enough about the nuts-and-bolts to dispel this inaccurate image. Not the team assembled in these pages, however. They detail not only why institutions matter but how to analyze these essential actors in contemporary world politics.”

- Thomas G. Weiss, The CUNY Graduate Center

“This book is original and innovative, as it is the first companion to provide a broad and thoughtful inventory of research methods used in the social sciences and humanities to understand what international organizations are and what they do: so very helpful!”

- Bob Reinalda, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

International Organizations and Research Methods fills a gaping hole in the IO literature and will be particularly valuable to graduate students and IO researchers with its diversity of methods and authors covering a range of UN specialized agencies and IOs in different issue areas and regions.  The book's introduction provides a very useful overview of what the book aims to do and not do and how the editors define methods as a reflexive part of the research process.  The innovative use of boxes is a great way to present specific tools and ‘tricks,’ including interviewing in a foreign language and analyzing tweets.”

- Margaret Karns, University of Massachusetts Boston

"[The book] will be useful for students looking for an entry point into a fascinating social world; for researchers wanting to dabble in new methods; for lecturers integrating case-studies from international politics in their teaching; and for practitioners seeking to understand how research is conducted on their employer(s). Consequently, the book provides the first systematic survey of how scholars of international organizations think about their research subject, their own positionality, and their interactions with the institutions themselves." 

- International Affairs

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