From Single Country to Comparing Countries: Studying Democracy with Text Data and Contextual Validity[zur Übersicht]
What is the challenge of interdisciplinary research on democracy? Based on the implications of text data, I present the study of democracy in the digital era as the dilemma between large data and deep validity.
This focus reflects that philosophies behind the choice of methods differ across disciplines, which is the main difficulty but also the desired advantage. Computer science prefers data on a very large level, while social and political science move flexibly between medium and small levels, with the smallest level being the time-intensive immersion in language, culture, and society. Against popular assumption, I argue
that the small level is rendered even more important due to the emergence of new large data. By presenting single-country case studies of fine-grained developments over time, I present how the quality of democracy runs counter to visible phenomena, trends, and patterns. Thus, I suggest how interdisciplinary research on democracy should be designed in future: By scaling up the validity standards of single case studies, by creating key roles for single case experts, and by integrating with large digital data.
15.08.18 - 10:15