Colchester, United Kingdom

Comparative Historical Analysis

online course
when 22 July 2024 - 26 July 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 EC
fee GBP 492

Learn key aspects of Comparative Historical Analysis, including process tracing, path dependency, case selection, periodisation, and project design.

Need to Know

No particular previous knowledge is required, although students should come to the course having already read the course material and ready to fully engage with it. It will be assumed that students who have registered for the course have an interest in historical processes and theory building, both of which are central to the logic of Comparative Historical Analysis.

Key topics covered

Monday: Introduction to Comparative Historical Analysis: Origins, logics, and exemplars.
Tuesday: Key aspects of Comparative Historical analysis: Process tracing, path dependency, and theory building.
Wednesday: The comparative historical research process: A practical guide.
Thursday: First book seminar.
Friday: Second book seminar.

How the course will work online

At the risk of sounding cliché (or, even worse, flaky), Comparative Historical Analysis is in many ways more than a method – it is an approach to understanding and analysing the social world. Furthermore, it is a craft. Unlike many other methods, there is thus no set of skills and techniques that, once mastered, will allow a researcher to do comparative historical analysis. Rather, each practitioner of the method must learn from the great “exemplars” that constitute the method’s canon.

Consequently, the course will combine interactive lectures that emphasise theoretical and practical components of the method with book seminars that dissect key contributions in the tradition. These will be delivered through Zoom. The instructor will also conduct live Q&A sessions and offer designated office hours for one-to-one consultations.

Course leader

Daniel Ritter is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University, specialising in revolutions and social movements.

Target group

Researchers, professional analysts, advanced students

Course aim

By the end of this course, you will have a firm grip on what Comparative Historical Analysis is, how one goes about “doing” comparative history, and detailed knowledge of several key works in the tradition.

Upon completing the course, you will be able to design a comparative historical study in terms of posing relevant research questions or puzzles, identifying suitable sources of evidence, and weaving history and theory together into coherent and plausible explanations.

Credits info

4 EC
You can earn up to four credits for attending this course.
3 ECTS credits – Attend 100% of live sessions and engage fully with class activities.
4 ECTS credits – Attend 100% of live sessions, engage fully with class activities and complete a post-class assignment.

Fee info

GBP 492: ECPR member - check whether your institution is a member here:
GBP 985: ECPR non-member


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