Case Study Methods and Process-Tracing
Full course description
Qualitative research methods are widely used in political science and public policy to analyse in-depth case dynamics. This course will introduce students to the most widely used case study research designs in social science such as most likely, least likely, typical cases as well as most similar and most different systems designs. Special emphasis will be given to qualitative data analysis using process tracing. Students will practice conceptualizing and identifying causal mechanisms, drawing on examples from published research in European Studies. In particular, one course session is dedicated to analysing the qualitative research design of a published article from one of the core substantive modules in the RMES. Furthermore, one session will be dedicated to feedback from the instructor on the methodological aspects of students’ research workshop projects conducted in the parallel substantive modules.
After this course students should be able to:
- acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of qualitative research methods and their application to scientific research in the field of European Studies;
- acquire advanced knowledge of how to integrate substantive, theoretical and methodological knowledge;
- apply knowledge and understanding of qualitative methods when analysing published academic research;
- formulate judgments on appropriate case study research design choices in qualitative methods;
- communicate one’s understanding and evaluation of research design issues and formulate questions for the group when chairing the discussion;
- learn how to update one’s knowledge of the latest debates in qualitative methods and keep up with the state of the art in the field.
Henry Brady and David Collier (eds.) 2004. Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. New York: Rowman and Littlefield. Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett. 2005. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge, M.A.: MIT University Press. Bennett, A. and Checkel, J. (eds.) 2014. Process Tracing from Metaphor to Analytic Tool. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Derek Beach and Rasmus Brun Pedersen. 2013. Process Tracing Methods – Foundations and Guidelines. Ann Arbor, M.I.: University of Michigan Press. Beach, D. and R. Pedersen. 2016. Causal Case Study Methods: Foundations and Guidelines for Comparing, Matching, and Tracing. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.