Authors
Tuukka Kaidesoja
University of Helsinki
Abstract
How are middle-range theories about causal mechanisms built from case studies in the social sciences? My aim is to answer this question by analyzing and improving Derek Beach and Rasmus Brun Pedersen’s account of the method of theory-building process-tracing. After having introduced the basic issues and concepts, I move on to analyze their descriptions of theory-building process-tracing. I identify some ambiguities and problems in their notions of middle-range theory and causal mechanism. In the constructive part of the paper, I provide accounts of causal mechanisms and middle-range theories that aim to resolve the problems and ambiguities in Beach and Pedersen’s views. I close the paper by showing how the method of theory-building process-tracing can be improved by utilizing these views.
Keywords case study  middle-range theory  process tracing
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.11.008
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Interpreting Causality in the Health Sciences.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):157 – 170.
Causal Mechanisms in the Social Sciences.Peter Hedström & Petri Ylikoski - 2010 - Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67.
Theory Construction in Qualitative Research.Stefan Timmermans & Iddo Tavory - 2012 - Sociological Theory 30 (3):167-186.
Strategies for Discovering Mechanisms: Schema Instantiation, Modular Subassembly, Forward/Backward Chaining.Lindley Darden - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S354-S365.

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