Consortium for Education and Social Science Research 2011-2012 Workshop in Methods

Designing Case Study Research: Lessons from a Grant Reviewer by Andrew Bennett, PhD, Professor of Government – Georgetown University

Friday, October 28, 2011 – 10:00 – 11:30 – Woodburn Hall 200

This session will cover the essential tasks of designing case study research (specifying the puzzle, identifying alternative explanations, specifying the variables and measuring them, selecting cases, and formulating questions to ask of each case). It draws on the lecturer’s experience reviewing hundreds of grant proposals for the National Science Foundation and the US Institute of Peace to identify ten common flaws in case study research designs.

Using Typological Theorizing to Address Causal Complexity and Select Cases for Study by Andrew Bennett, PhD, Professor of Government – Georgetown University

Friday, October 28, 2011 – 2:00 – 3:30 – Woodburn Hall 200

This session will discuss how typological theories, or theories on different configurations of variables that constitute “types,” can help address complex causal relations such as high order interaction effects and equifinality even when there is limited diversity of cases. The discussion will emphasize operational issues such as how to develop typological theories, how to iterate between theorizing and initial empirical case study examples, and how to use typological theories to clarify case selection for qualitative research projects. The session will focus on two extended examples that participants may want to review in advance, though it is not essential order to follow the discussion. The first is an article on burden sharing in the 1991 Persian Gulf War (Bennett, Lepgold, and Unger, International Organization, Winter 1994), and the second is an article on military occupations (Edelstein, International Security, Summer 2004).

Andrew Bennett is Professor of Government at Georgetown University. He is the author, with Alexander George, of “Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences” (MIT Press, 2005), and President of the Institute on Qualitative and Multimethod Research (IQMR, easy to find on Google), a two-week training institute at Syracuse University that hosts over 150 PhD students each year. Professor Bennett has reviewed and critiqued over 500 case study research designs for PhD students and grant-awarding organizations.

Financial support for the Workshop in Methods (WIM) provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

WIM Director: William Alex Pridemore, Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Director of the Consortium for Education and Social Science Research:

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