RSS01.C1 Comparative Research Designs

The purpose of this course is to provide training on all aspects that enable a researcher to build and implement 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 a few fundamental upstream questions: why compare; what is the added value of comparison? What are the logical underpinnings and mental operations behind comparison? What should be the mindset of a good comparative researcher? What should be his/her goals? What is the link between a research puzzle and the choice for a comparative research design? 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 (qualitative, QCA and quantitative options).

Steps (1) and (2) will be examined in greater detail.

Detailed program (pdf, 143 kB)


19 June 2023 - 23 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 Benoit Rihoux
Level of participant
  • Master
  • PhD
  • PostDoc
  • Professional
Admission requirements ​Little specific prior knowledge is required. Any prior training in qualitative and/or quantitative methods is an asset, but by no means a requirement. The participant should simply be willing to reflect openly about his/her research design – one of the take-home messages of the course being: “there is no one-size-fits-all comparative research design”
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