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date: 27 June 2022

Interviewing in Public Administrationlocked

Interviewing in Public Administrationlocked

  • Philippe ZittounPhilippe ZittounLaboratoire Aménagement Economie Transports, École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État

Summary

Qualitative interview is one of the most important methods used to understand how public administration and the policy process work. It essentially involves questioning actors to obtain exclusive data about their day-to-day activities, their production of knowledge, the arguments they use, their relationships, the discrete meetings they participate in, their struggles, their strategies, and so on. Privileging “how” over “why,” it allows researchers to consider interviewees as witnesses of their own activities, enabling them to access the daily happenings within the administration, rather than as analysts from whom “good” and “acceptable” reasons are sought to justify their actions. These interviews must be analyzed exclusively by the interviewer, which supposes an epistemological analysis of the discourse and also requires researchers to bear in mind that any interview is a social relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee and necessarily leads to data bias, even though experience and several tips can help limit these biases.

Subjects

  • Policy, Administration, and Bureaucracy
  • Qualitative Political Methodology

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