Ahmed Khalifa

Picturing Political Change in Egypt
Using Photography as a Qualitative Research Method in Political Science

The purpose of this dissertation is to outline the visual method that, through photography we can explore and analyze social interactions of political actors in a field with vast changes. It addresses the following research question:  How to use visual data for qualitative research in political science, in order to examine the behavior of actors during and after political change? Through a single case study, and a comparison of several political events during the so-called Arab-Spring, this dissertation seeks to provide in the framework of visual research methods, an analysis of a crucial political change period in Egypt from 2011-2013. Furthermore, it contributes to the study of political change in the Middle East and North Africa by focusing on the historical context, and considering the camera as a research tool, in order to study social conditions and political actors. Learning to observe visually, to see political processes in all of its complex details, can be a big challenge for fieldworkers. Therefore, methodological challenges must be taken into consideration, in order to make reliable observations of actors and political change in general.