The Role of Case Study Research in Political Science: Evidence for Causal Claims

Philosophy of Science 79 (5):655-666 (2012)
Political science research, particularly in international relations and comparative politics, has increasingly become dominated by statistical and formal approaches. The promise of these approaches shifted the methodological emphasis away from case study research. In response, supporters of case study research argue that case studies provide evidence for causal claims that is not available through statistical and formal research methods, and many have advocated multimethod research. I propose a way of understanding the integration of multiple methodologies in which the causes sought in case studies are treated as singular causation and contingent on a theoretical framework.
Keywords methodology  causality  social science
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DOI 10.1086/667869
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