Many empirical questions in political science are addressed by means of case studies, an in-depth analysis of a limited number of cases. Case study research is a particularly suitable method to answer complex questions as well as to revise and expand existing literature. In this course we will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of comparative small-n case studies, the importance of case selection, and problems of reliability and validity. We will also draw attention to the importance of conceptualizations, definitions, typologies and classifications. By the end of the seminar you will be able to adequately address a number of methodological problems in your Master’s theses.
Topics to be discussed:
- case selection and causation (MSSD and MDSD)
- logic of comparison
- QCA and fQCA, the basics
- combining quantitative methods with casestudies (nested and mixed designs)
- process tracing