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 2: Global Comparative Methods
Paul Pennings & Hans Keman & Jan Kleinnijenhuis
Global comparative methods Comparative research is generally defined either at the level of systems (often national), or as a process by assessing politics over time (often yearly). Both descriptions are generally considered to differentiate the comparative approach from other approaches within social science such as rational choice. In line with this definition of comparative research, this chapter focuses on comparative studies in which the nation-state is the unit of analysis and countries are researched at one point in time or over time. Both time and space are important dimensions in most research designs. Depending on the units of variation and the causal relationship under review, inter-temporal and/or cross-sectional variation will define the type of cases that are needed to organize the comparative data. This chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of two types of comparative research designs whose logic is closely related to the dimensions of time and/ or space: ...