In a recent publication, Gary Goertz and James Mahoney have argued that empirical Political Science research can be differentiated into two methodological cultures: A quantitative and a qualitative culture that fundamentally differ with regard to how they are implemented in practice. This paper is a first empirical probe into the two-cultures hypothesis. We examine the application of qualitative and quantitative methods in a multiply stratified sample of over 30 journal articles. We first summarize the two-cultures argument and detail our design for testing it. We then present first empirical results of a larger research project on the two-cultures thesis. Based on a sample of randomly selected articles published in Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research and World Politics between 2008 and 2012, we find very little support for the presence of coherent qualitative and quantitative cultures.
Mahoney, James, and Gary Goertz. 2006. “A Tale of Two Cultures: Contrasting Quantitative and Qualitative Research.” Political Analysis 14 (3): 227–49.