Case-Selection Techniques in Case Study Research: A Menu of Qualitative and Quantitative Options

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Abstract

How can scholars select cases from a large universe for in-depth case study analysis? Random sampling is not typically a viable approach when the total number of cases to be selected is small. Hence attention to purposive modes of sampling is needed. Yet, while the existing qualitative literature on case selection offers a wide range of suggestions for case selection, most techniques discussed require in-depth familiarity of each case. Seven case selection procedures are considered, each of which facilitates a different strategy for within-case analysis. The case selection procedures considered focus on typical, diverse, extreme, deviant, influential, most similar, and most different cases. For each case selection procedure, quantitative approaches are discussed that meet the goals of the approach, while still requiring information that can reasonably be gathered for a large number of cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-308
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume61
StatePublished - 2008

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