The Return of the Single-Country Study
Posted: 28 May 2019
Date Written: May 2019
This article reviews the changing status of single-country research in comparative politics, a field defined by the concept of comparison. An analysis of single-country research published in top general interest and comparative politics journals reveals that single-country research has evolved from an emphasis on description and theory generation to an emphasis on hypothesis testing and research design. This change is a result of shifting preferences for internal versus external validity combined with the quantitative and causal inference revolutions in the social sciences. A consequence of this shift is a change in substantive focus from macropolitical phenomena to micro-level processes, with consequences for the ability of comparative politics to address many substantive political phenomena that have long been at the center of the field.
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