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Alexander L. George & Andrew Bennett - Case Studies And Theory Development In The Social Sciences

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Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

by Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett

ISBN: 9780262572224

Pub date: April 15, 2005

  • Publisher: The MIT Press

352 pp. , 6 x 9 in ,

ISBN: 9780262072571

Pub date: April 22, 2005

ISBN: 9780262262897

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  • Published: April 2005
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The use of case studies to build and test theories in political science and the other social sciences has increased in recent years. Many scholars have argued that the social sciences rely too heavily on quantitative research and formal models and have attempted to develop and refine rigorous methods for using case studies. This text presents a comprehensive analysis of research methods using case studies and examines the place of case studies in social science methodology. It argues that case studies, statistical methods, and formal models are complementary rather than competitive.

The book explains how to design case study research that will produce results useful to policymakers and emphasizes the importance of developing policy-relevant theories. It offers three major contributions to case study methodology: an emphasis on the importance of within-case analysis, a detailed discussion of process tracing, and development of the concept of typological theories. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences will be particularly useful to graduate students and scholars in social science methodology and the philosophy of science, as well as to those designing new research projects, and will contribute greatly to the broader debate about scientific methods.

Alexander L. George was Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University and the author or coauthor of many books, most recently Presidential Personality and Performance (1998).

Andrew Bennett is Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University and the author of Condemned to Repetition? The Rise, Fall, and Reprise of Soviet-Russian Military Interventionism, 1973-1996 (MIT Press, 1999).

In this book, George and Bennett explain how research methods such as process tracing and comparative case studies are designed, carried out, and used as the basis for theory development in social science. They provide an invaluable research guide for any scholar interested in the case study approach. But the book is much more than an account of how to do case study research. The authors also offer a sophisticated discussion of the philosophy of science that will be useful to anyone interested in the place of case-study methods in broader debates about social science methodology, and they give a discerning analysis of policy-relevant theory that is sure to draw the attention of a research community increasingly concerned about the social and political relevance of modern social science. In scope, clarity, and erudition, this book sets a new standard not only in the analysis of case study methods, but also in the study of social science methods more broadly. David Dessler, Associate Professor of Government, College of William & Mary
This book combines clear and concise instructions on how to do qualitative research with sophisticated but accessible epistemological reasons for that advice. The volume provides step-by-step templates on ways to design research, compare across cases, congruence test and process trace, and use typological theories. This guidance is illustrated with dozens of concrete examples. Almost no other methodology text comes close to matching the authors' top-to-bottom synthesis of philosophy of science and practical advice. Colin Elman, Executive Director, Consortium on Qualitative Research Methods, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University
This landmark study offers to scholars of all methodological persuasions a philosophically informed, theoretically nuanced, and methodologically detailed treatment of case study analysis. With this book Alexander George and Andrew Bennett help all of us in improving our research, teaching, and disciplinary debates. Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr., Professor of International Studies, Cornell University
Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences makes an indispensable contribution to the growing literature on qualitative methods in the social sciences. It provides a definitive analysis of case study methods and research designs, anchors those methods in contemporary philosophy of science, and argues that case study, statistical, and formal approaches can and should be mutually reinforcing in the development and testing of social theories. Jack S. Levy, Board of Governors' Professor, Rutgers University
Today, more and more social scientists recognize the importance of cases in social and political research and are looking for new ways to make their research more case oriented. George and Bennett show how in this important new work. The beauty of their approach is their careful integration of theory and method and their conviction that the pursuit of empirical knowledge is profoundly theory dependent. Charles Ragin, Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona
Andrew Bennett and Alexander George have written an immensely helpful practical guide to the case method. It offers sharp insight on scientific inference and very useful how-to guidance on doing case studies. Graduate students in social science: don't leave home without it! Stephen Van Evera, Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The history of social science shows that well-designed case studies can be both a fertile source of new theories and a powerful tool for testing them. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences raises our understanding of case study methodology to a new level of rigor and sophistication. George and Bennett provide a careful analysis of the virtues and pitfalls of comparative case study research and offer valuable advice for any scholar engaged in qualitative research. The more widely this book is read, the better future social science will be. Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
This is an extraordinarily valuable book—a guide written with the practitioner in mind, very sophisticated in its approach to the subject, but loaded with practical advice. George and Bennett show how systematic, rigorous, and above all meaningful case study work is to be done. This is the sort of book scholars—and not just graduate students—will want to come back to over and over again. Marc Trachtenberg, Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles

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Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

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Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics

Attilia Ruzzene

george a l & bennett a (2005) case studies and theory development in the social sciences

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IOSR Journals publish within 3 days

Abstract: A Case Study is one of the most popular and widely used methods in social research. Though case studies primarily involve qualitative research techniques, they can also make use of quantitative methods, thus, providing a fascinating turf for the interplay of both qualitative and quantitative methods in carrying out a social research. This paper is an attempt to study and examine the primary attributes of a case-study method and its potential for generating authoritative knowledge. Some of the major dimensions of a case study being reviewed and dealt with in this paper include –a) the debates surrounding the enunciation of precise definitions and key characteristics of a case study method b) the types of researches where case studies can be most aptly employed c) the relative utility and merits/demerits of case studies vis-à-vis other methods of qualitative research d) the issues of reliability and validity of a case study method and e) the seemingly unending debate surrounding the role of a case study in effecting broader generalizations and its future promise. Keywords: case study protocol, generalization, reliability, replication, research design.

Lesley Bartlett

Christopher Leo

Khullar Junior

Although case study methods remain a controversial approach to data collection, they are widely recognised in many social science studies especially when in-depth explanations of a social behaviour are sought after. This article, therefore, discusses several aspects of case studies as a research method. These include the design and categories of case studies and how their robustness can be achieved. It also explores on the advantages and disadvantages of case study as a research method.

Qualitative Inquiry, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 219-245

Bent Flyvbjerg

This article examines five common misunderstandings about case-study research: (a) theoretical knowledge is more valuable than practical knowledge; (b) one cannot generalize from a single case, therefore, the single-case study cannot contribute to scientific development; (c) the case study is most useful for generating hypotheses, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building; (d) the case study contains a bias toward verification; and (e) it is often difficult to summarize specific case studies. This article explains and corrects these misunderstandings one by one and concludes with the Kuhnian insight that a scientific discipline without a large number of thoroughly executed case studies is a discipline without systematic production of exemplars, and a discipline without exemplars is an ineffective one. Social science may be strengthened by the execution of a greater number of good case studies.

christian lund

PHILIPPE SCHMITTER

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COMMENTS

  1. Alexander L. George & Andrew Bennett - Case Studies And ...

    Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences will be particularly useful to graduate students and scholars in social science methodology and the philosophy of science, as well as to those designing new research projects, and will contribute greatly to the broader debate about scientific methods.

  2. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences ...

    titative research. By contrast, as George and Bennett point out, equifinality severely limits the validity of case-study research using Mill’s methods or related elimination techniques (157–58). Hence, equifinality would in fact seem to be an example of a problem which distinctively challenges case studies, not quan-titative methods.

  3. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    Paperback. $35.00. Paperback. ISBN: 9780262572224. Pub date: April 15, 2005. Publisher: The MIT Press. 352 pp., 6 x 9 in, MIT Press Bookstore Penguin Random House Amazon Barnes and Noble Bookshop.org Indiebound Indigo Books a Million.

  4. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. By Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005. 331p. $50.00 cloth, $20.00 paper. In recent years, there has been a surge in work on what has come to be known as “qualitative methods.”

  5. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. A. George, A. Bennett. Published 15 February 2005. Education, Sociology, Political Science. A text that emphasizes the importance of case studies in social science scholarship and shows how to make case study practices more rigorous. Save to Library. Create Alert.

  6. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    The use of case studies to build and test theories in political science and the other social sciences has increased in recent years. Many scholars have argued that the social sciences rely too heavily on quantitative research and formal models and have attempted to develop and refine rigorous methods for using case studies.

  7. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    Many scholars have argued that the social sciences rely too heavily on quantitative research and formal models and have attempted to develop and refine rigorous methods for using case studies. This text presents a comprehensive analysis of research methods using case studies and examines the place of case studies in social science methodology.

  8. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    Abstract: A Case Study is one of the most popular and widely used methods in social research. Though case studies primarily involve qualitative research techniques, they can also make use of quantitative methods, thus, providing a fascinating turf for the interplay of both qualitative and quantitative methods in carrying out a social research.

  9. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences

    Part I Case Studies and Social Science Chapter 1 Case Studies and Theory Development Chapter 2 Case Study Methods and Research on the Interdemocratic Peace A Pedagogical Note to Parts I1 and I11 Part I1 How to Do Case Studies Chapter 3 The Method of Structured, Focused Comparison Chapter 4 Phase One: Designing Case Study Research Chapter 5 ...