Abstract

This article considers the role of generalization in comparative case studies, using as exemplars the contributions to this special issue on climate change politics. As a research practice, generalization is a logical argument for extending one’s claims beyond the data, positing a connection between events that were studied and those that were not. No methodological tradition is exempt from the requirement to demonstrate a compelling logic of generalization. The article presents a taxonomy of the logics of generalization underlying diverse research methodologies, which often go unstated and unexamined. I introduce the concept of resonance groups, which provide a causeway for cross-system generalization from single case studies. Overall the results suggest that in the comparative study of complex political systems, case study research is, ceteris paribus, on par with large-N research with respect to generalizability.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-0091
Print ISSN
1526-3800
Pages
pp. 152-175
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-29
Open Access
No
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