(by Fleur Huijskens)
The International Relations Institute (IRI) of PUC Rio University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosted the PRIMO method training workshop ‘Discourse Analysis, Content Analysis and Regional Power Studies’ from 22 to 26 June 2015. The workshop was designed for the PRIMO early stage researchers and PUC Rio master students studying on-going political controversies and whose research demands in-depth interpretation of oral and written data.
We received a five-day course during the morning in the Philosophy of Language, Discourse Analysis and Politics by the renowned professor and specialist in Discourse Analysis Michael Shapiro from the University of Hawaii. We received in-depth training in analyzing discourses through practical exercises using videos and texts. In the late morning we received a five-day course from Professor Bruno Magalhães from PUC Rio de Janeiro on Content Analysis, with the main focus on Ethnomethodology, in which we were taught the available techniques for interpreting texts, conversations and dialogues.
We received two afternoon lectures from Professor Elspeth Guild (Jean Monnet Professor, Radboud University, Queen Mary and Visiting Professor at IRI) on Reading Law, in which we received training in how to read legal documents – in particular treaties and judgements of supranational courts – and what the consequences are of the choices of reading these documents. Professor Didier Bigo (Sciences Po, King’s College and Visiting Professor at IRI) provided two afternoon lectures on Political and Anthropological Research on International Sociology, in which he introduced us to Critical Sociology and pointed out the shortcomings and blindness of some aspects of mainstream International Relations.
Both PRIMO post-docs attended the workshop in Rio and provided lectures as well. Dr. Faiz Sheikh from Hamburg University held an interactive and practical lecture, entitled ‘Pre-colonial memories in the confines of the nation state’ in which we applied discourse analysis to the work of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani. Dr. Beverly Loke from Oxford University lectured on China in the World: The Politics of Great Power Responsibility, Status and Membership in International Society and focused on the discourse surrounding the debate on China and great power responsibility status.
Overall the PUC RIO workshop provided the PRIMO early stage researchers with new insights in research methods and approaches such as Ethnomethodology and Critical Sociology and in depth training into Discourse and Content Analysis.