RSS01.C6 Comparative Historical Analysis: Using History to Enrich Social Inquiry
These are tumultuous times, yet again: a failed insurrection in the world’s oldest democracy, a pandemic disrupting global supply chains, an ascending China altering geopolitical dynamics, and global warming threatening our very planet. What makes understanding our present so challenging is its constantly changing and hence historical nature. This course offers guidance to scholars looking to comparative historical analysis (CHA) how to leverage the methodological riches of history for social inquiry. Like historians, CHA scholars use the past to formulate research questions, describe complex social processes, and generate new inductive insights. And like social scientists, they compare those patterns to formulate generalizable and testable theories. CHA builds a bridge between the disorderly world of history, that historians excel at exploring, and the orderly world of methodology that social scientists deploy to test hypotheses. And CHA believes that this bridge between exploration and testing is necessary to generate not just results that also answers.
This course is built around four objectives that help students understand the methodological implications of history.
- First, it differentiates between historical and statistical thinking to help students appreciate the distinct contributions that history makes to social inquiry.
- Second, it emphasizes the problem-driven nature of CHA and to help participants
- understand the importance of exploration and putting questions before methods.
- Third, three strands of CHA—eventful, longue durée and macro-causal analysis—and the contributions they make to exploration, description, and ultimately also explanation. Fourth, it emphasizes the complementarity between CHA and variance-based analysis (VBA) by reviving and older notion of methodology as a multi-stage research cycle.
It shows students how CHA contributes to the exploratory stage of a research cycle and thereby complements its confirmatory stage. In short, it demonstrates how CHA is crucial for translating results into answers. More broadly speaking, the course explicates and synthesizes the tools used—oftentimes tacitly—in historical institutionalism, economic history, comparative political economy, economic institutionalism, global history, social policy history, IR constructivism, historical sociology, post-colonial studies, literatures on state formation and democratization, the work on path dependency, and any other literature trying to bridge conventional variance-based and strictly historical modes of analysis. The course therefore should be helpful for anybody drawing on any of those literatures and wanting to better understand their methodological underpinnings.
|19 June 2023 - 23 June 2023|
Early Bird Regular: €895 (application deadline* April 1st)
|Scholarships and discounts||Find more information here|
*Your application is only completed when the course fee has been paid
|Course leader||Marcus Kreuzer|
|Level of participant||
|Admission requirements||There are no formal requirements but familiarity with one or several the follow literatures is expected: historical institutionalism, comparative political economy, socio-economics, economic institutionalism, global history, social policy history, IR constructivism, historical sociology, post-colonial studies, literatures on state formation and democratization, works on race and gender, research on path dependency, and any other literature trying to bridge conventional variance-based and strictly historical modes of analysis.|
|Mode of Study||On Campus|
|ECTS||2 or 4 Find more information here|