Consciousness and the Pineal Gland The pineal gland has always held an elevated status in the records of most ancient cultures. Each family of glands in the endocrine system secrete hormones that stimulate certain aspects of bodily function:
Using selected examples from within the International Relations literature, this paper aims to provide a brief overview of the main principles and distinctive advantages and limitations of single case study analysis. Divided into three inter-related sections, the paper therefore begins by first identifying the underlying principles that serve to constitute the case study as a particular research strategy, noting the somewhat contested nature of the approach in ontological, epistemological, and methodological terms.
The final section of the paper then discusses the most commonly articulated limitations of single case studies; while accepting their susceptibility to criticism, it is however suggested that such weaknesses are somewhat exaggerated.
The paper concludes that single case study analysis has a great deal to offer as a means of both understanding and explaining contemporary international relations.
It is possible, however, to distil some of the more commonly-agreed principles. One of the most prominent advocates of case study research, Robert Yin As such, three key points can be derived from this — respectively concerning issues of ontology, epistemology, and methodology — that are central to the principles of single case study research.
It is important to note, however, that — whereas Gerring refers to a single unit of analysis — it may be that attention also necessarily be given to particular sub-units. The former, for Yin 1994 case study research book, would examine only the overall nature of an international organization, whereas the latter would also look to specific departments, programmes, or policies etc.
One of the principal reasons for this, he argues, is the relationship between the use of case studies in social research and the differing epistemological traditions — positivist, interpretivist, and others — within which it has been utilised.
Philosophy of science concerns are obviously a complex issue, and beyond the scope of much of this paper. That said, the issue of how it is that we know what we know — of whether or not a single independent reality exists of which we as researchers can seek to provide explanation — does lead us to an important distinction to be made between so-called idiographic and nomothetic case studies Gerring, b.
The former refers to those which purport to explain only a single case, are concerned with particularisation, and hence are typically although not exclusively associated with more interpretivist approaches.
The latter are those focused studies that reflect upon a larger population and are more concerned with generalisation, as is often so with more positivist approaches. The importance of this distinction, and its relation to the advantages and limitations of single case study analysis, is returned to below.
Thirdly, in methodological terms, given that the case study has often been seen as more of an interpretivist and idiographic tool, it has also been associated with a distinctly qualitative approach Bryman, If case studies can reliably perform any or all three of these roles — and given that their in-depth approach may also require multiple sources of data and the within-case triangulation of methods — then it becomes readily apparent that they should not be limited to only one research paradigm.
Exploratory and descriptive studies usually tend toward the qualitative and inductive, whereas explanatory studies are more often quantitative and deductive David and Sutton, It is perhaps better to think of case studies as transparadigmatic; it is mistaken to assume single case study analysis to adhere exclusively to a qualitative methodology or an interpretivist epistemology even if it — or rather, practitioners of it — may be so inclined.
Advantages Having elucidated the defining principles of the single case study approach, the paper now turns to an overview of its main benefits.
As noted above, a lack of consensus still exists within the wider social science literature on the principles and purposes — and by extension the advantages and limitations — of case study research.
Eckstein proposed a taxonomy which usefully identified what he considered to be the five most relevant types of case study.
As opposed to the opportunity this presented primarily for theory application, Eckstein identified heuristic case studies as explicit theoretical stimulants — thus having instead the intended advantage of theory-building.
So-called plausibility probes entailed preliminary attempts to determine whether initial hypotheses should be considered sound enough to warrant more rigorous and extensive testing. As a subset of the latter, however, Jack Levy notes that the advantages of idiographic cases are actually twofold.
Secondly, they can operate as theory-guided case studies, but ones that seek only to explain or interpret a single historical episode rather than generalise beyond the case.
Harnessing various methods, process tracing may entail the inductive use of evidence from within a case to develop explanatory hypotheses, and deductive examination of the observable implications of hypothesised causal mechanisms to test their explanatory capability.
It involves providing not only a coherent explanation of the key sequential steps in a hypothesised process, but also sensitivity to alternative explanations as well as potential biases in the available evidence Bennett and Elman John Owenfor example, demonstrates the advantages of process tracing in analysing whether the causal factors underpinning democratic peace theory are — as liberalism suggests — not epiphenomenal, but variously normative, institutional, or some given combination of the two or other unexplained mechanism inherent to liberal states.
Within-case process tracing has also been identified as advantageous in addressing the complexity of path-dependent explanations and critical junctures — as for example with the development of political regime types — and their constituent elements of causal possibility, contingency, closure, and constraint Bennett and Elman, b.
Bennett and Elman Of these, so-called deviant cases are those whose outcome does not fit with prior theoretical expectations or wider empirical patterns — again, the use of inductive process tracing has the advantage of potentially generating new hypotheses from these, either particular to that individual case or potentially generalisable to a broader population.
A classic example here is that of post-independence India as an outlier to the standard modernisation theory of democratisation, which holds that higher levels of socio-economic development are typically required for the transition to, and consolidation of, democratic rule Lipset, ; Diamond, Conversely, if a theory cannot pass a most-likely case, it is seriously impugned.
Single case analysis can therefore be valuable for the testing of theoretical propositions, provided that predictions are relatively precise and measurement error is low Levy, As Gerring rightly observes of this potential for falsification: From various epistemological and analytical standpoints, single case study analysis can incorporate both idiographic sui generis cases and, where the potential for generalisation may exist, nomothetic case studies suitable for the testing and building of causal hypotheses.
Finally, it should not be ignored that a signal advantage of the case study — with particular relevance to international relations — also exists at a more practical rather than theoretical level.Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more. "The fifth volume in the Applied Social Research Methods series is an extremely successful volume.
In this 4th edition, Robert Yin has updated the chapters and case examples to reflect recent developments in the field. Official website for studying in Korea run by the Korean government.
Information about language courses, universities, scholarships, job vacancies, online application is available. With over 90, copies sold of the previous editions the new Third Edition of the best-selling Case Study Research has been carefully revised, updated, and expanded while retaining virtually all of the features and coverage of the second edition.
Robert Yin′s comprehensive presentation covers all aspects of the case study method - from . Jan 01, · This study was designed according to the principles of formative research which is based on the Yin's () case study approach and has an iterative nature (Reigeluth & Frick, ).
Yin has strengthened most of the chapters and as a result the book has become more complex and detailed in the techniques of case study research. As in the case of old member states. ed. First of all. Case Study Research. Design and Methods (, Second edition.
Thousand Oaks: Sage) By Robert K. Yin Summary General characteristics When to use case study method? 1) The type of research question: typically to answer questions like “how” or “why” 2) Extent of control over behavioural events: when investigator has a.