RSS02.B7 Rethinking Comparison: Reinventing How and Why to Do Comparative Research

How should we design non-controlled comparative research? The goal of this module is to introduce students to logics of comparative inquiry available to scholars beyond the already well-defined logics of controlled comparison. By expanding the modes of qualitative comparative inquiry available to them, students in this module will be able to both uncover new questions and drive innovations in how we answer existing questions.

In brief, this module will equip students to expand how they think about comparison and, as a result, expand how they think about the world and their understanding of it. Specifically, students will

  1. learn how to identify the kinds of questions that lend themselves to non-controlled comparisons.
  2. learn specific techniques through which to design a non-controlled comparative project.
  3. learn how to iterate research designs if scholars’ initial assumptions are faulty.
  4. learn alternative “outcomes” for research projects beyond causal inference.
  5. Last, they will learn how to evaluate the quality of a non-controlled comparative design.

In mastering these skills, students will be able to deploy comparative research techniques at the cutting edge of political science and to reimagine what the next generation of political research will look like as a result.​​


26 June 2023 - 30 June 2023
Course Fee

Regular: €995
Students & PhD's: €645

Early Bird Regular: €895 (application deadline* April 1st) 
Early Bird Students & PhD's: €580,50 (application deadline* April 1st)

Scholarships and discounts Find more information here
Application deadline

May 1st

*Your application is only completed when the course fee has been paid

Course leader Nicholas Rush Smith
Level of participant
  • Master
  • PhD
  • PostDoc
  • Professional
Admission requirements ​Some familiarity with principles of design for controlled comparative research projects (often referred to as Mill’s Methods) will be helpful but is not required.​
Admission documents
  • To get the student/PhD discount you need to upload a copy of your Student card or other proof of registration
  • If you are not a student/PhD, you can upload an empty document under 'Student Card'.
Mode of Study On Campus
ECTS 2 or 4 Find more information here
Location Radboud University