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Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures

Introduction to Case Study Methods
with Dr. Derek Beach

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 –
Thursday, May 21, 2015
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Derek Beach
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science University of Aarhus, Denmark


This event is free


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve W.



Dr. Derek Beach

The aim of this introductory course is to provide students with a framework for understanding and using case study methods in your own research. A constant theme throughout the course will be on debating the strengths and limitations of different small-n methods, illustrating the types and scopes of inferences that are possible, and whether and how they can be nested into mixed-methods research designs. The core text is a forthcoming book on causal case study methods co-authored by the instructor – the text will be distributed to participants prior to the course.

The course can either be followed as a stand-alone three day module, or preferably as part of a two-week introduction to case study methods in the WSSR.

The course starts by introducing the debate on whether there is a divide between quantitative, large-n, variance-based and qualitative case study methods. This is followed by a discussion of different understandings of causality that underpin different methodologies, developing the foundations for three different variants of case-based methods.

Day 2 begins with an introduction to comparative logic, focusing in particular on Mill’s methods of agreement and difference, and the most-similar and most-different systems designs. The afternoon discusses how we can make inferences using non-variational, within-case evidence in case studies.

Day 3 introduces the two most prevalent within-case methods: congruence and process-tracing. The course concludes with a discussion of selection bias and how we can map populations of relatively causally homogeneous cases in case-based research.

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