Vienna, Austria

Comparative Research Designs

when 17 February 2013 - 22 February 2013
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC

The purpose of this course is to provide training on all aspects that enable a researcher to conceive and conduct the most appropriate comparative research design – the latter broadly defined as any research enterprise that comprises at least two „cases‟ or observations. On the one hand, the course will cover fundamental questions „upstream‟ of practical and hands-on choices: what is comparison? Why compare; what is the added value of comparison? What should be the „mindset‟ of a good comparative researcher? What is the link between a research puzzle and the choice for a comparative research design? What would be the alternative(s)? At which level(s) should the „cases‟ be envisaged? Etc. On the other hand, the practicalities of different types of comparative research designs will be examined in detail, by following all the hands-on steps: (1) prior arbitrations and „casing‟, i.e. the definition of the cases; (2) case selection, through more basic or more advanced strategies; (3) collecting and managing comparative data; (4) comparative data analysis. A short introductory module on QCA (as part of a comparative research design) is also provided. The course is lecture-based (no lab work) and will also allow ample time for questions/answers and open discussions.

Course leader


Target group

advanced students and junior researchers in political science and adjacent disciplines

Course aim

as above

Credits info

2 EC
Participants have the opportunity to gain 2 ECTS credits from the University of Vienna for attending an Introductory or Advanced Courses (15 hours). Participants must successfully complete their course, and successfully complete their project assignment in order to obtain 2 ECTS credits – Transcripts will be sent to the participants by The University of Vienna.

For all courses being attended (Introductory, Advanced and/or Software Training Courses), participants also receive a certificate of attendance.

Certificates of accreditation (if applicable) as well as certificates of attendance are sent to the participants after the Winter School has ended, by the University of Vienna

Fee info

EUR 0: ECPR Member – €495
Non-ECPR Member – €690
ECPR Member who has attended the ECPR SSMT 2012* – €445
Non-ECPR Member who has attended the ECPR SSMT 2012* – €640
*There is a €50 loyalty discount deducted from all Introductory and Advanced Courses to participants who attended the 2012
Summer School in Methods and Techniques (SSMT) in Ljubljana (this discount does not apply to Software Training Courses).


Self funded students from ECPR member institutions will be able to apply for funding in the form of scholarship funds and travel and accommodation grants. Please use the following link for further information: