The four varieties of comparative analysis: the case of environmental regulation

Pickvance, Chris (2005) The four varieties of comparative analysis: the case of environmental regulation. In: National Centre for Research Methods and ESRC Symposium on Small and Large-N Comparative Solutions, September 22-23 2005, University of Sussex, Brighton. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The paper develops an argument that the two conventional forms of comparative analysis which seek to explain similar phenomena by similar features, and different phenomena by different features are too restricted. Instead using the idea of plural causation two other possibilities are identified: explaining similar phenomena by different features (e.g. showing how a phenomenon occurs due to one set of causes in one society and another in another) and explaining different phenomena by similar features (e.g. as in functionalist explanations which explain different phenomena as ways of meeting the same societal functions.) The resulting four varieties of comparative analysis are illustrated. The second part of the paper draws on some recent research on environmental regulation in Hungary to address two questions: 1. the similarity in patterns of environmental regulation across nations and 2. inter-locality variation in patterns of environmental regulation in Hungary. In the former case the similarity in the pattern in Hungary to that in North American and western European capitalist countries can usefully be explained as occurring in part through a distinctive set of causes, i.e. socialist legacies.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.5 Comparative and Cross National Research
1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.12 Case Study
8. Research Management and Impact > 8.5 Evidence-Based Policy and Practice
ID Code:57
Deposited By: NCRM users
Deposited On:09 Nov 2007 11:35
Last Modified:12 Oct 2010 17:33

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