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Case Studies and Causal Inference: An Integrative Framework by I. Rohlfing

By I. Rohlfing

A dialogue of the case examine approach which develops an integrative framework for causal inference in small-n study. This framework is utilized to investigate layout projects similar to case choice and method tracing. The booklet provides the fundamentals, state of the art and arguments for bettering the case examine approach and empirical small-n study.

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As this is an excessively demanding criterion, I follow the criterion of causes as raising the probability of occurrence for the outcome (this is not meant to disparage alternative epistemologies). While I cannot go into the details here, this is a widely held epistemology; although certainly not without its problems (like any theory of causation), it is suitable for causal inference in case studies (Hitchcock 1995; Northcott 2010). The question of whether the social and political world is governed by general cause–effect relationships is a long-standing one.

4) (Howson and Urbach 2005; Bennett 2008). The first element is epistemological and concerns the basis for the generation of causal inferences. In frequentist case studies, a hypothesis is judged on the basis of the number of observations that support and contradict it. Bayesian case studies, on the other hand, also emphasize the ‘probative value’ or expectability of an observation (Bennett 2008, 711), that is, how likely it is to collect in light of the hypothesis under scrutiny. In order to illustrate this difference, assume that one aims to explain why some EU member states fail to transpose European directives within the mandated period of time (for example, Kaeding 2008).

3; Kurki 2007, chap. 12 Without going into the details here, Hume argued that causation is ultimately unobservable and that causal relationships cannot be anything but inferred from observation. According to Hume, three criteria must be met for causal inference on the basis of empirical observations: the occurrence of the cause is temporally prior to the occurrence of the effect; the cause and effect are spatially and temporally contiguous; and the outcome must regularly follow the cause. Case, Case Study, and Causation 31 All three elements of Hume’s account have received ample attention in the past and are only briefly reconsidered here (see Brady 2008).

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