Studies of the Middle East and North Africa have very often relied on qualitative methodologies to understand and explain the politics of the region. In fact it could be argued that Middle East specialists have tended to shy away purposefully from engaging with quantitative methods because of the perceived ‘exceptionalism’ of the region in terms of the gathering and reliability of hard data. This article makes the case for increasing engagement with quantitative methodologies in order for studies on the Middle East to better 'speak' to comparative politics more broadly. Far from downplaying the significance and contribution of qualitative methods, this article encourages scholars to integrate them with quantitative methods that have been more recently developed to provide a fuller picture of politics in the region.
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