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ERIC Number: EJ856571
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
When You Can't Find the Perfect Match: Using the Accumulated Most Similar Design in Case Studies
Quinn, John James
Journal of Political Science Education, v5 n3 p250-267 2009
What happens when you want to use a most similar case study design for a small-N study, but you cannot find a particular pair of cases where all of the relevant, competing explanations are held constant? It is proposed here that scholars and teachers could employ or teach the "accumulated most-similar/crucial case design." This design uses two or more partially flawed most similar designs to work like a "prefect" most similar design. This method allows you to hold all the rivals or alternative explanations constant in at least one match. It also can be employed with a crucial case aspect. This methodology is outlined theoretically, and then it is illustrated with the study of trade orientation in four matched pairs of sub-Saharan African countries from 1966-1986. The article shows how you can "fix" the most similar design by expanding it when the "perfect" design eludes us. This approach should be of interest to scholars and teachers of comparative politics, international relations, methodology, regional experts, and anyone interested in using or teaching small-N case designs. It can be taught to upper division undergraduates or graduate students as well as be used in research. (Contains 3 figures, 1 table and 35 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Congo; Kenya; Zambia