Qualitative Data Sources

The dependent variable for my small-n research design is the degree of protection that state laws governing renting and eviction provide tenants. So far, I have identified the subsection of codes in D.C., South Carolina, and Texas that govern those related topics. While these three states may not be the exact cases I would choose if I were to go through with this research method, they do demonstrate significant variation in tenant protections. D.C.’s code provides a number of specific protections for tenants including 30 days notice to vacate for nonpayment, preventions from tenants being evicted in freezing weather, resources from the Chief Tenant Advocate to appeal an eviction decision.[1] In contrast, both South Carolina and Texas only provide tenants with a 3-day notice to vacate for nonpayment, and weaker protections for tenants looking to appeal landlord decisions.[2]

These different areas of protection, or lack thereof, start to lend themselves to some general questions I could ask of any set of eviction/renting codes. What is the length of time required between notice of nonpayment and filing of a lawful detainer suit? Are their restrictions on when (seasonal, weather, etc.) a tenant can be evicted? Are landlords responsible for storing the property of a unit and, if so, for how long? The answers to those questions can help me determine whether states have high, moderate, or low levels of tenant protection, which will likely be the possible values for my dependent variable. When I actually go about choosing cases for the research design I might want to mirror Saunders’ approach, choosing states with different levels of protection while trying my best to hold other variables like region or political climate constant.[3]

Bibliography

“§ 42–3505.01. Evictions.,” Council of the District of Columbia. https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/sections/42-3505.01.html (Accessed: October 27, 2019).

“PROPERTY CODE TITLE 4. ACTIONS AND REMEDIES CHAPTER 24. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER,” Texas Constitution and Statutes https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.24.htm (Accessed October 27, 2019).

Saunders, Elizabeth. “Transformative Choices: Leaders and the Origins of Intervention Strategy,” International Security 34, no. 2 (Fall, 2019). https://www.jstor.org/stable/40389215?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents (Accessed: October 20, 2019).

“Title 27 – Property and Conveyances,” South Carolina Legislature. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t27c040.php (Accessed: October 27, 2019).

 

[1] “§ 42–3505.01. Evictions.,” Council of the District of Columbia. https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/sections/42-3505.01.html (Accessed: October 27, 2019).

[2] For South Carolina code see “Title 27 – Property and Conveyances,” South Carolina Legislature. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t27c040.php (Accessed: October 27, 2019). For Texas code see “PROPERTY CODE TITLE 4. ACTIONS AND REMEDIES CHAPTER 24. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER,” Texas Constitution and Statutes https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.24.htm (Accessed October 27, 2019).

[3] Elizabeth Saunders, “Transformative Choices: Leaders and the Origins of Intervention Strategy,” International Security 34, no. 2 (Fall, 2019), https://www.jstor.org/stable/40389215?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents (Accessed: October 20, 2019).

Evan Margiotta

Evan Margiotta

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One thought on “Qualitative Data Sources
  1. Avatar Dr. Boesenecker

    Evan — overall this is a very good start in terms of both conceptualizing your DV as well as in thinking about primary source data that would allow you to establish the value of that DV in your proposed cases. As you keep thinking about your DV, think about whether the variable might have several dimensions (as we saw with the way that Howard operationalized her DV) so that you have a deeper understanding of what distinguishes a “high” level of protection from “medium” or “low” levels. As you think about cases, remember that you’ll also want to be able to establish that the differences in these cases is in fact puzzling (how would your selection of cases link back to theory?) rather than just a trivial or obvious difference that exists. Keep these things in mind as you continue your reading and research and let me know if you have any questions.

     
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