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Using cases in political science: reflections on Keith Dowding’s ‘The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science'

Using cases in political science: reflections on Keith Dowding’s ‘The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science'
Using cases in political science: reflections on Keith Dowding’s ‘The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science'
This short response presses further on considerations about the N of cases and so-called qualitative and quantitative evidence in political research. I ask whether Dowding’s critique of the claims of causal process-tracing is relevant to case studies as they appear in real-life political science. I argue that choosing a case is an integral part of performing a case study and case studies in reality are always situated within research designs that are attentive to a case’s relationship to others. Dowding’s work in my view could be complemented by a further elaboration of its
pragmatic implications for how we consider and favour certain approaches to sampling and types of data in our field. In widening the debate, I ask why systematic reviews and meta-analyses are conspicuous by their absence in political science. Finally, I return to a discussion of what this means for disciplinary culture and cumulative advancement of disciplinary knowledge.
194-200
Ryan, Matthew
f07cd3e8-f3d9-4681-9091-84c2df07cd54
Ryan, Matthew
f07cd3e8-f3d9-4681-9091-84c2df07cd54

Ryan, Matthew (2017) Using cases in political science: reflections on Keith Dowding’s ‘The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science'. Political Studies Review, 15 (2), 194-200. (doi:10.1177/1478929917693642).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This short response presses further on considerations about the N of cases and so-called qualitative and quantitative evidence in political research. I ask whether Dowding’s critique of the claims of causal process-tracing is relevant to case studies as they appear in real-life political science. I argue that choosing a case is an integral part of performing a case study and case studies in reality are always situated within research designs that are attentive to a case’s relationship to others. Dowding’s work in my view could be complemented by a further elaboration of its
pragmatic implications for how we consider and favour certain approaches to sampling and types of data in our field. In widening the debate, I ask why systematic reviews and meta-analyses are conspicuous by their absence in political science. Finally, I return to a discussion of what this means for disciplinary culture and cumulative advancement of disciplinary knowledge.

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 January 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 April 2017
Published date: 28 April 2017
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

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Local EPrints ID: 405206
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405206
PURE UUID: b04fbb9d-d6d5-446a-ae4e-35899f7f126b
ORCID for Matthew Ryan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8693-5063

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Date deposited: 30 Jan 2017 12:04
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 05:40

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