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James A. Caporaso

In: The SAGE Handbook of Comparative Politics

Chapter 4: Is There a Quantitative-Qualitative Divide in Comparative Politics? The Case of Process Tracing

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Is There a Quantitative-Qualitative Divide in Comparative Politics? The Case of Process Tracing
Is there a quantitative-qualitative divide in comparative politics? The case of process tracing
James A.Caporaso
Meanings of Qualitative and Quantitative

The discipline of political science is said to be divided between those who pursue a qualitative approach and those who study politics quantitatively. As Pierson (2007) has shown, this division is uneven across sub-fields, with American politics the most quantitative and international relations the least. Comparative politics has a history in which knowledge of particular countries, their cultures, institutions, and behavior, are thought of as very important components of research, whether as context for more detailed empirical generalizations, or as objects of study themselves. As such, comparative politics has had to grapple with the qualitative/quantitative ...

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