Introducing ‘Subaltern States’

In a world in which celebrity divorces mark the headlines, tell-all news beats all, politicians are the closest we often come to accounts of real people in national contexts, and sensationalism is what sells, it is time for a blog on Subaltern States.

This is a blog about the domestic politics of states around the world from comparative politics or international studies perspectives.  It centers on case study analysis using qualitative, culturalist, historicist, political-sociological, and/or interpretive approaches.  It is an ideal place to publish a short précis on work that you are publishing as an article or book elsewhere, or a commentary on a local political situation.  It is a great way to get out the word about your qualitative research in a world in which it is increasingly difficult to get such work published.

Local and regional politics, local and regional debates on their own terms, and the voices of the less often heard in developing, semi-developed, and developed contexts are all welcomed.  Likewise, social theory or ideas emerging from, or being debated in, subaltern contexts are also perfect for this blog.  ‘Subaltern’ is being used, here, broadly to refer to brief analyses or grounded commentaries that address the less powerful or marginalized of states, peoples, movements, or ideas within their domestic or regional contexts, or within the international system.

If you have recently come back from the field, or from a conference abroad, and you have something to say or report or suggest that ties a local context to issues in comparative politics, international studies, or social theory more broadly, please send it in.  If you have a book coming out and would like to get out the word, send us a précis, an analysis or commentary connecting it to the issues in this blog (as with other analyses and commentaries, 400-800 words, and not more than 1000 words).

This is a blog where scholars who work in qualitative research can talk to one another, share succinct empirical (in the qualitative sense) and theoretical observations, and publicize their work to like-minded scholars in the social sciences. This is a venue for thoughtful analyses that can tell us something about the world we live in based upon case study analysis, field work, and the linking of domestic, local, and/or regional contexts to social theory.  It is intended to raise issues that are significant to many political and social scientists.

In the ideal, this blog can be a place where qualitative researchers can get their ideas out, associated with their own names, and share those ideas with scholars who do related work, methodologically.  Similarly, you may look to this blog to find out who is who and what is what in the latest qualitative field work analysis.  You can also turn to this blog to learn what qualitative researchers who may have spent years in the field have to say about contemporary political situations of interest to everyone.  Or, you may turn here to see what is happening in a local context in a part of the world that you would rarely, otherwise, address.

Try not to be concerned if other scholars will or have disagreed with you on the themes or issues that you raise; this blog is a place to present your perspective – based on grounded, qualitative analysis – on its own terms.  This blog is not a forum for debate.  It is a forum for presentation of the wide range of analytical perspectives available among qualitative field researchers in political science.  On rare occasion, work in political theory may be appropriate if it is grounded in local context and field work.  Likewise, on rare occasion, submissions from other disciplines in the social sciences may be considered.

The blog is open as to region and theme.  Analyses and commentaries should be grounded in the sense of being based in perspectives that emerge from locally-nuanced field work.  Thought-pieces are welcomed.  Commentaries on books-of-interest, be they old classics, new classics, books rarely considered, or recent works, are also welcomed.  Such commentaries are welcomed particularly if they can be connected to issues of current events, or methodological and epistemological questions in qualitative field methods.  Analyses, commentaries, or thought-pieces on qualitative field methods are very much welcomed.

Join us and let this blog be a forum for qualitative researchers everywhere!  While your analysis or commentary for a blog post here must, necessarily, be short, this can be a place where qualitative researchers come to know one another and the various types of work being done in this multi-faceted, rigorous, and substantial research program.

For submissions, see here.

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