Case Study Methods

Andrew Bennett and Colin Elman

in The Oxford Handbook of International Relations

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199219322
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


 Case Study Methods

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This article focuses on a third generation of qualitative methods research. Third-generation qualitative methods provide a unique bridge between the single-logic-of-inference and interpretivist communities. Accepting comparison and intuitive regression as part of its underlying justification, the third-generation case study approach is readily compatible with large-n studies, as well as being accepting of many of the claims of the comparative advantages offered by quantitative methods. The article considers some of the ways in which the third generation has developed and suggest potentially fruitful directions for future research. It focuses on some key innovations in third-generation qualitative methods over the last decade regarding within-case analysis, comparative case studies, case selection, concepts and measurement, counterfactual analysis, typological theorizing, and Fuzzy Set analysis. It concludes with a discussion of promising avenues for future developments in qualitative methods.

Keywords: qualitative research; case analysis; case studies; case selection; counterfactual analysis; Fuzzy Set analysis

Article.  7844 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations ; Political Methodology

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