Social science and humanities researchers usually embark on international comparative projects with a view to gaining a deeper understanding of observable phenomena, advancing knowledge, developing new insights, and generating and testing theory. To achieve these challenging objectives, they undertake systematic comparisons across two or more countries, cultures or societies. Despite the long history of comparative studies, reviewed in the two previous chapters, the conduct of comparative projects continues to require a heavy investment in intellectual, technical and physical resources if the innumerable obstacles to successful international cooperation are to be overcome. The likely outcome of any comparative study is largely determined at a very early stage in the research process. Many closely interrelated factors contribute to the research process and outcomes: the selection of the objects of inquiry; the formulation of research questions; the choice of comparators and levels of analysis; the research cultures and disciplinary mix of team members; the theoretical and methodological approaches adopted; and the analysis and interpretation of findings. All these factors, therefore, need to be taken fully into account in project design.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Project Design in International Comparative Research
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number