Scholarship on the Middle East in Political Science and International Relations: A Reassessment

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A recently published dataset of Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-focused scholarship in journals selected to represent the disciplinary core of political science sheds empirical light on key publishing trends, from the balance between quantitative and qualitative studies to the growth in experimental and large-N statistical methods. Cammett and Kendall's (2021) analysis shows that between 2001 and 2019, MENA-focused studies declined as a share of publications but that slightly less than half of that work is qualitative. However, the definition of qualitative research that the study uses significantly overstates the number of such articles in the Cammett and Kendall dataset. Our analysis rectifies this, distinguishing among research studies that use qualitative evidence, qualitative methods, theoretical traditions, and paradigms (i.e., positivist/post-positivist). This yields a more accurate and significantly starker picture of the marginality of MENA qualitative research in core politics journals. These results raise the question of why methodologically sophisticated scholarship outside of the top journals has not been published there.




Teti, A., & Abbott, P. (2023). Scholarship on the Middle East in Political Science and International Relations: A Reassessment. PS - Political Science and Politics, 56(2), 259–264.

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