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Cross-national research

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Title: Cross-national research  
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Subject: Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory, Comparative sociology
Collection: Research
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Cross-national research

In social science disciplines such as sociology, political science, geography, and economics, cross-national research is the technique of analyzing an event or process that takes place within a country, while comparing the way that event or process takes place across many different countries. Cross-national research may be qualitative, as in Theda Skocpol's States and Social Revolutions. Alternatively, it may be quantitative, as in Seymour Martin Lipset's research on modernization theory.

Cross-national research is a subject of debate. Some scholars object because this kind of research involves comparing dissimilar countries and cultures, while others argue that cross-national quantitative analysis requires unrealistic assumptions. Others defend the research practice, arguing that it may be problematic but it provides a tool for answering questions that would otherwise be unanswerable.


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  • Bartolini, S. (1990) "The Political Mobilization of the European Left, 1860-1980: The Class Cleavage" Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 35-53
  • Ruffa, Chiara and Soeters, Joseph. (2014) "Cross-national research in the military - Comparing operational styles." in Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies edited by Soeters, Joseph; Shields, Patricia and Rietjens, Sebastiaan. pp. 216-227. New York: Routledge.
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