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Research

The School has always been at the forefront of methodological development in the social sciences.

The Department of Methodology is a national centre of excellence in methodology and the teaching of methodology. The Department coordinates and provides a focus for methodological activities at LSE, in particular in the area of methodological research. Through the degree programmes run by the Department (the MSc Applied Social Data Science, the MSc Social Research Methods and the MPhil/PhD Social Research Methods), and through provision of courses for postgraduate students from across the School, the aim is to make LSE the pre-eminent centre for methodological training in the social sciences.

The Department of Methodology operates a Visiting Fellows scheme, to enable academics, researchers and practitioners from other institutions to spend a period of time conducting research or to be involved in other activities which will benefit the Department.

Methodology faculty pursue research in a number of different disciplines; their work can be found in journals covering a variety of different domains of enquiry. The Department is also home to a number of funded research projects.

Recent publications

Current projects

  • quanteda.ioquanteda is an R package for managing and analyzing textual data developed by Kenneth Benoit and other contributors. Its initial development was supported by the European Research Council grant ERC-2011-StG 283794-QUANTESS. quanteda is a user-friendly software application framework around the R quanteda package that enables efficient, powerful natural language processing and quantitative text analysis.

  • Migrant Women in Medellin and Their Right to the City: How do migrant women in Medellin, especially mothers and heads of household, negotiate their ‘right to the city’ – the right to access the resources of the city and the right to shape and change the city? Through an analytical lens of place-making, Dr Sonja Marzi is exploring migrant women’s right to the city with a special focus on their everyday socio-spatial mobilities, their access to public goods and resources, and how they manage the challenges of their private and economic lives. This project uses a participatory action research approach that includes visual methods such as mapping, video and photography. Funded by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation, Germany.

  • INTREPID: Developing a better understanding on how to achieve more efficient and effective interdisciplinary research in Europe. Funded by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

  • Methods for the analysis of longitudinal dyadic data with an application to     intergenerational exchanges of family support. Funded by ESRC and EPSRC.

  • Moving forward: Bringing about change in interrogation practice.This project looks at interrogation practices in both criminal justice and human intelligence gathering contexts, and how how it could be changed. Funded by the FBI.  

Recently completed projects

  • EUENGAGEBridging the gap between public opinion and European leadership: Engaging a dialogue on the future path of EuropeFunded by the Horizon 2020 Grant.

  • Communicating chronic pain: Interdisciplinary methods for non-textual data.The research adapts interdisciplinary methods from the arts, humanities and social sciences to examine how chronic pain, as a non-verbal experience, can be communicated through non-textual data, and how it circulates socially. Funded as an ESRC NCRM Methodological Innovation project. 

  • Fiducia: New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy. Funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme.  

  • Item Nonresponse and Measurement Error in Cross-National Surveys. The complexity of cross-national surveys raises methodological challenges which need to be met in order to make the best use of the data. Two of these are problems of data quality: measurement error where the answers by survey respondents are in some way erroneous; and nonresponse where some questions are not answered at all. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate research methods for these problems Funded as an ESRC NCRM Methodological Innovation project.

  • LCAT: Latent Variable Modelling of Categorical Data: Tools of Analysis for Cross-national Surveys. Funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council.

  • Legal norms and crime control: A comparative cross-national analysis: This is a comparative, cross-national study into attitudes towards legal authorities, compliance with the law, cooperation with legal authorities, and the policing of minority and majority groups. Funded by ESRC.

  • QUANTESS: Quantitative Analysis of Textual Data for Social Sciences (ERC-2011-StG 283794-QUANTESS). This project has funded Quanteda: an R package for the quantitative analyis of textual data. Funded by the European Research Council.

  • STEPE : Sensitive Technologies and European Public Ethics. Funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme.

  • Trust in Justice: Rotating Module in Round 5 of the European Social Survey. Funded by the European Commission and other bodies.