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Seminar series

How Cases Speak to One Another

Using the Concept of Translation to Rethink Generalization in Political Science

Add to calendar 2024-05-15 12:00 2024-05-15 13:30 Europe/Rome How Cases Speak to One Another Refectory Badia Fiesolana YYYY-MM-DD


15 May 2024

12:00 - 13:30 CEST



Badia Fiesolana

In the framework of the SPS Departmental Seminar Series, this session features a talk by Professor Erica Simmons.
Regardless of method, political scientists typically seek to generate causal arguments that can be generalized to a population of cases. But is this the only way to think about how political science research travels? We advocate for an additional logic for thinking about how qualitative research might produce broadly applicable insights: translation. Much like linguistic translation, the goal of comparing for translation is to develop ideas that are intelligible or recognizable in a different context, even as the context will change the ways in which an idea or political practice is interpreted or enacted. This process then allows scholars to reflect on the categories, concepts, and assumptions with which they began research and potentially find new causal pathways, develop novel explanatory outcomes, and creatively redescribe or reconceptualize political phenomena. 
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