Social Science Research

This paper as the main task of tracing out the advantages of a comparative methodology that result in value addition in case study analysis ,on the one hand, and, on the other, this paper also explains the various pitfalls that are encountered in social science research when it deploys the comparative methodology. This analysis is achieved by carrying out a literature review in support of arguments in favour of and against the comparative methodology and by citing literature involving case studies that deployed comparative analysis as methodology.
Seligson &amp. Tucker (2003) report an interesting cross country study of two very different nations i.e. Bolivia and Russia. They attempt to arrive at conclusions regarding preference for ex-authoritarian rulers in public elections in each of these two countries which are otherwise very divergent in social, economic and geopolitical characteristics. In order to derive such conclusions the research deployed the comparative methodology. The researchers explain their research setting, conclusions and variables in following words, "In our research we find that a preference for authoritarian regime types is a key predictor of support for ex-authoritarian candidates for president in two vastly different countries: Bolivia and Russia. …
Despite the different past and contemporary economic and political characteristics of these two countries, voters choose to support ex-authoritarian candidates in free elections in part because they favor authoritarian regime types. Social capital variables, though, seem to have no effect on this vote choice. Pro-authoritarian attitudes, however, are not the only factors driving support for these candidates. In the Bolivian case our evidence suggests that voters may also prefer ex-authoritarian candidates because of concern over unemployment and corruption. In the Russian case, concern over the state of the national economy clearly plays a role. In both countries, older voters are more likely to support ex-authoritarian candidates. In Russia we find similar patterns for poorer and working class voters as well. As we have examined only two cases in which voters have cast their ballots for former authoritarians, there remain many questions for future research. As a first step, it would be illuminating to examine whether we find similar patterns in other post-communist and Latin American countries in an effort to make sure we have not merely stumbled upon an exclusively Bolivian-Russian connection. Moreover, this analysis was deliberately limited to Presidential elections to facilitate more seamless comparison across the two cases. Having established a realistic basis for comparison, future work could consider parliamentary elections, as well as sub-national elections, in hopes of seeking further evidence of the generalizability of our findings".
It is clear from the above that the researchers are very wary of the conclusions reached by them after this comparative analysis. They mention the factors that may affect the