Process Tracing and Elite Interviewing: A Case for Non-probability Sampling

  • Oisín Tansey


This article explores the relationship between the method of process tracing and the data collection technique of elite interviewing. The process tracing method has become an in- creasingly used and cited tool in qualitative research, a trend that is likely to accelerate with the recent publication of Alexander George and Andrew Bennett’s text (2005) on case study research. That book outlines and explores the process tracing method in detail, high- lighting its advantages for exploring causal processes and analysing complex decision- making. Yet while the book presents a rigorous and compelling account of the process tracing method and its critical importance to case study research, the value of method itself remains contested in some quarters and there are aspects of George and Bennett’s treatment of it that require further exploration.


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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oisín Tansey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of Oxford, Nuffield College, Oxford UniversityUK

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