Article

The Case Study: What it is and What it Does

John Gerring

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199566020
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199566020.003.0004

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 The Case Study: What it is and What it Does

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This article presents a reconstructed definition of the case study approach to research. This definition emphasizes comparative politics, which has been closely linked to this method since its creation. The article uses this definition as a basis to explore a series of contrasts between cross-case study and case study research. This article attempts to provide better understanding of this persisting methodological debate as a matter of tradeoffs, which may also contribute to destroying the boundaries that have separated these rival genres within the subfield of comparative politics.

Keywords: reconstructed definition; case study approach; comparative politics; contrasts; cross-case study research; case study research; tradeoffs; methodological debate

Article.  16032 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Methodology

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