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The lecture by Jonas Driedger “Few Cases, Big Results: Case-Study Methodology of the Beach and Pedersen”

On April 8, 2019, another research seminar was held at the International Laboratory for Research of the World Order and New Regionalism of the HSE.

A presentation on “Few Cases, Big Results: Case-Study Methodology of the Beach and Pedersen” was made by Jonas Driedger a political scientist from Germany, specializing in the security and defense policies of Russia, Germany, and the EU, as well as in Western-Russian relations and international relations theory.

In his report, Jonas Driedger presented the methodology of Derek Beach and Rasmus Pedersen, which these authors described in his book “Causal Case Study Methods. Foundation and Guidelines for Comparing, Matching, and Tracing”. Following the idea of ​​the book, the speaker presented that the case study methodology, if properly worked out, has great prospects, since it can be used to develop theories, conduct more accurate and more informative tests of these theories, and this method allows generating theoretically sound descriptions and explanations specific results obtained, which is de facto what most political science studies require. Derek Beach and Rasmus Pedersen lay the theoretical basis for their statements, and then analyze them using the example of three elements of this methodology: qualitative comparison (qualitative comparison), congruence analysis and process-tracing.

A qualitative comparison involves the targeted selection of several countries from all of their diversity; it is smaller in scale than a global sample. The number of countries can vary by upper limit, but the minimum should be greater than or equal to two. In fact, it depends on the subject of the study, available resources, historical, linguistic, cultural and regional competence of the researcher, methodological advantages of increasing the number of countries, etc.

Compliance model (congruence) - identifies four of the most important components of an organization: people, corporate culture, critical tasks and formal organization. The basic idea is that in order for an organization to demonstrate excellent results and take advantage of emerging opportunities, these components must be consistent with each other (alignment).

The process tracking method is understood as “a tool for studying causal mechanisms in a case study study”.

“Process tracing” is intended, first of all, to identify cause-effect relationships within the framework of the case study strategy. But it can also be along with quantitative methods within the framework of mixed research designs for a deeper understanding of the causal mechanism linking dependent and independent variables.

Several key stages of applying the “process tracing” method within the framework of a case study strategy: choosing the starting point of the research, modeling the causal mechanisms, collecting evidence, testing the causal mechanisms put forward.