Networks, Expertise, and Research Design: A Structured Focused Comparison of Electoral Rules and Election Results

Abstract

In comparative politics, the case-study and structured focused comparison approaches require researchers to have in-depth country expertise. Because such expertise takes years to acquire, scholars often collaborate on projects requiring detailed comparisons across a few countries. In this research methods case study, we emphasize the role professional networks play in connecting researchers to each other. Networks can be especially useful in linking scholars with different country expertise for comparative projects. Furthermore, we detail the methodological approach we used in our study of ballot position effects in Poland and the Czech Republic. Our analysis combines the structured focused comparison approach with quantitative analysis within each case.

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