Social Science Methodology

Scientific Value and Reason
At the Danish Centre for Welfare Studies (DaWS), we care about social science methodology. We strongly believe that only methodologically sound research has any scientific value. Hence, we go to great lengths to improve social science methodology.

The members of DaWS share an interest in comparative methodology. We strongly believe in the value of comparison. However, comparative methodology raises unique challenges. Hence, we are engaged in a multitude of projects to address methodological issues in comparative research. Researches at DaWS have strong expertise not only on quantitative methods, but also on methods of comparative-historical analysis and on expert and elite interviews.

 For instance, a recent project has analyzed how social scientists use historical arguments and evidence. This project is part of an on-going discussion on how to study historical developments and reflects our firm belief in the benefits of cross-disciplinary work. Among other things, we have organized an expert survey among historians and asked them evaluate state-of-the-art political science research on electoral system choice in democratic countries in the period before 1939 (you can find a presentation of the survey here. For the results of the expert survey, please consult the article by Emmenegger and Petersen in the journal Qualitative and Multi-Method Research.

For further information contact Peter Starke.

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