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What Are Case Studies Good for? Nesting Comparative Case Study Research Into the Lakatosian Research Program

Vannoni, M; (2015) What Are Case Studies Good for? Nesting Comparative Case Study Research Into the Lakatosian Research Program. Cross-Cultural Research , 49 (4) pp. 331-357. 10.1177/1069397114555844. Green open access

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Abstract

This article discusses two of the most used methods of comparative case study research, namely, John Stuart Mill’s (Millian) method of agreement and the method of difference. In doing so, it claims that those methods allow social research to progress theoretically and empirically if the latter is assessed through the epistemological framework of the research program. The latter represents a series of guidelines to assay the progress of science provided by Imre Lakatos’s philosophy of science. In fact, those two methods can be used according to two methodologies, namely, concept formation and causal inference, which in turn perform specific functions essential for social research to develop theoretically and empirically in line with the guidelines established by the research program. In conclusion, a more nuanced discussion of the link between epistemology, methodology, and methods is needed to fully appreciate what comparative case study research is good for.

Type: Article
Title: What Are Case Studies Good for? Nesting Comparative Case Study Research Into the Lakatosian Research Program
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1069397114555844
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1069397114555844
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 by SAGE Publications
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460770
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