The Untilled Field of Field Campaigns

The Untilled Field of Field Campaigns

Hahrie Han, University of California, Santa Barbara
Elizabeth McKenna, University of California, Berkeley


This paper considers the challenges and opportunities of conducting a thick, qualitative study of a twenty-first century presidential ground campaign. Our goals in the study were to describe phenomena that are not commonly examined in most studies of field campaigns, namely (a) the purportedly transformative impact of the campaign on both individuals and collective contexts, (b) the holistic interaction of different strategic elements of the campaign, and (c) the processes the campaign used to develop citizen leadership to scale the campaign. We also consider the limitations of our approach, the reception of a book intended for both academic and practitioner audiences, and underexploited research agendas in the study of campaigns.

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Perspectives on Politics / Volume 14 / Issue 3 / September 2016, pp. 750-757