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Case study research and critical IR: the case for the extended case methodology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Roberto Roccu, Daniela Lai

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Relations
Early online date8 Jan 2019
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2019

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Abstract

Discussions on case study methodology in International Relations (IR) have historically been dominated by positivist and neopositivist approaches. However, these are problematic for critical IR research, pointing to the need for a non-positivist case study methodology. To address this issue, this paper introduces and adapts the extended case methodology as a critical, reflexivist approach to case study research, whereby the case is constructed through a dynamic interaction with theory, rather than selected, and knowledge is produced through extensions rather than generalisation. Insofar as it seeks to study the world in complex and non-linear terms, take context and positionality seriously, and generate explicitly political and emancipatory knowledge, the extended case methodology is consistent with the ontological and epistemological commitments of several critical IR approaches. Its potential is illustrated in the final part of the paper with reference to researching the socio-economic dimension of transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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