This course explores basic questions of research design and analysis for qualitative scholarship. The course is divided into two parts. Part one introduces students to longstanding debates over questions of explanation and interpretation in the social sciences. These discussions we will also include issues of research design and case selection. Part two turns to a history of the discipline of political science. What are the parameters of our field? When and how were they established? With what political effects? And how have they been renegotiated over time? Throughout the course students will be encouraged to use the readings to challenge and defend their own research interests and practices.