Internationally Comparative Research Designs in the Social Sciences: Fundamental Issues, Case Selection Logics, and Research Limitations

Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, special issue "International Social Research"

42 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2019

See all articles by Achim Goerres

Achim Goerres

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science

Markus Siewert

Goethe University Frankfurt

Claudius Wagemann

Goethe University Frankfurt

Date Written: November 15, 2018

Abstract

This paper synthesizes methodological knowledge derived from comparative survey research and comparative politics and aims to enable researches to make prudent research decisions. Starting from the data structure that can occur in international comparisons at different levels, it suggests basic definitions for cases and contexts, i.e. the main ingredients of international comparison. The paper then goes on to discuss the full variety of case selection strategies in order to highlight their relative advantages and disadvantages. Finally, it presents the limitations of internationally comparative social science research. Overall, the paper suggests that comparative research designs must be crafted cautiously, with careful regard to a variety of issues, and emphasizes the idea that there can be no one-fits-all solution.

Keywords: international comparison, comparative designs, quantitative and qualitative comparisons, case selection

Suggested Citation

Goerres, Achim and Siewert, Markus and Wagemann, Claudius, Internationally Comparative Research Designs in the Social Sciences: Fundamental Issues, Case Selection Logics, and Research Limitations (November 15, 2018). Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, special issue "International Social Research". Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3347333

Achim Goerres (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science ( email )

Lotharstrasse 65
Duisburg, D-47057
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.achimgoerres.de

Markus Siewert

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Claudius Wagemann

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

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