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Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures

Introduction to Case Studies and Comparative Case Study Methods

with Dr. Derek Beach,
Professor, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Monday, May 14, 2018 –
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Derek Beach
Professor, University of Aarhus, Denmark


This event is free


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve W.




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 course can either be followed as a stand-alone three day module, or preferably as part of a series of courses relating 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-based research 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.

Please do ALL of the readings and prepare preliminary responses to the groupwork exercises IN ADVANCE.

Course prerequisites: Students are expected to be have encountered basic qualitative, case study research methods in their graduate-level education.


Click here to find out more about the WSSR's collaboration with the ECPR.

WSSR Spring 2018 Lineup in Qualitative Methodology

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