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Coding policy influence with ATLAS.ti

Sebök, Miklós

Zentraleinrichtung Campusmanagement (ZECM)

The paper provides a cursory analysis of the methodological problems of coding policy influence in ATLAS.ti. In a series of notes on a research project on Hungarian banking, the measuring problems of preference attainment are considered in the context of lobbying in developed democracies. Two such issues are discussed in more detail: The identification of policy issues in large-sized corpora (as well as their relative importance), and the estimation of relevant policy positions regarding these important issues. For the first point, the flexible coding schemes as well as grouping and commenting features of ATLAS.ti contribute to a proper identification of policy issues and their respective boundaries. For the second point, it is asserted that the estimation of lobby group and government policy positions is best assisted by the quotation managing, query and co-occurrence functions of the software. The discussion of this case study in applied qualitative data analysis also reveals the strong dependence of research results not only on appropriate research rules and procedures but also the transparency thereof.