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APSA Short Course No. 1 Nested Research Designs: Inferential Leverage, Limitations, Feasibility David Collier, UC Berkeley Thad Dunning, Yale Jason Seawright, Northwestern Please sign in to the course and pay our $5 (if still due) – see Johanna Söderström.
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APSA Short Course No. 1 Nested Research Designs: Inferential Leverage, Limitations, Feasibility David Collier, UC Berkeley Thad Dunning, Yale Jason Seawright, Northwestern Please sign in to the course and pay our $5 (if still due) – see Johanna Söderström
Five Inter-Connected Virtues/Slogans: 1. Inferential Leverage 2. Multi-Method a. Diverse types of data b. Diverse analytic tools c. (a) and (b) combined with diverse contexts 3. Triangulation 4. Nested Comparison – 2 Directions of Nesting 5. Generalization Two Worries: 1. Knowing Less about More 2. Resources
David Collier 1. Designs Involving a “Case Study” (often qualitative) of a “National Case” Linked to Other Comparisons – both Cross-National and Sub-National 2. Issues of “Samples,” “Populations,” and “Generalization” 3. Feasibility and Resources
Thad Dunning 1. Merging a field experiment with qualitative fieldwork 2. Nesting a Field Experiment Within a Natural Experiment 3. Feasibility and Resources
Jason Seawright 1. Paired comparison of Peru and Venezuela, nested in a four-way comparison that includes Argentina and Chile 2. Nesting quantitative designs within case studies 3. Feasibility and Resources
1. One National Case Embedded in a Small-N Comparison 1a. Wider comparison that uses qualitative evidence: Levitsky, Steven. 2003. Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, chaps. 1 & 9.
1. Argentina – Successful adaptation of labor-based party 2. Venezuela – Failure 3. Peru – Failure 4. Chile – More successful 5. Mexico – Intermediate We must pay close attention to similarities/ contrasts with Jason Seawright’s much deeper assessment of these same cases.
1b. Wider comparison that uses quantitative evidence: Johnston, Richard. 2008. “Situating the Canadian Case.” Chapter 2 in The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History. Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia. Rationale for comparison cases
2. Two National Cases Embedded in a Large-N Cross-National Comparison Lieberman, Evan S. 2003. Race and Regionalism in the Politics of Taxation in Brazil and South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 32–37, 10–11, 237–70.
3. Combining Small-N Sub-National and Small-N Cross-National Comparison Clark, David. 2002. “Neoliberalism and Public Service Reform: Canada in Comparative Perspective.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 35, No. 4: 771–93. See also Richard Snyder. 2001. "Scaling Down: The Subnational Comparative Method." Studies in Comparative International Development 36 No. 1: 93-110.
Comparison of Canada at the Federal Level with: • France and U.K. b. Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec c. Question: What is the development/status of “comparative provincial politics” within Canadian political science? d. Comparison/contrast with “comparative state politics” in the U.S.
4. Nested Designs, Generalization, and External Validity. Collier, David, ed. 2008. “Symposium: Case Selection, Case Studies, and Causal Inference.” Newsletter of the APSA Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research 6, No. 2, pp. 2-14. [Focus above all on Collier’s Introduction and the two contributions by David A. Freedman. ]
1. In comparative social science, meaningful definition and framing of samples and populations is a tricky business at best. 2. Claims about generalization and external validity have to be approached with extreme caution – a caution that may be counter-productive for the purpose of “selling” one’s research. 3. Nested designs provide an promising avenue for addressing this issue.