Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: August 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9780857021083 | Print ISBN: 9781412919760 | Online ISBN: 9780857021083| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 3: Case Studies
Case studies A case study is among the oldest and most widely used methods available to comparative scholars. While many concepts in widespread usage come to mean different things to different people and even lose meaning and coherence, scholarly understandings of the nature, purpose, strengths, and weaknesses of a case study have actually experienced relative convergence over the past decade. Scholars who utilize different methods also tend to agree on the importance of methodological pluralism, arguing that while case studies can stand on their own, they can also complement, improve, check, and deepen other methods, especially large-N quantitative studies. Much of the scholarly dialogue on methods has also converged on the view that case studies should adhere to rigorous scientific standards similar to those that govern quantitative analysis, thereby discarding interpretivist or postmodern relativist positions on case studies (Brady and Collier, 2004; George and Bennett, 2005; Gerring, 2004; King et ...