Research Design in European Studies: The Case of Europeanization
CLAUDIO M. RADAELLI
In this article, we contribute to the debate on research design and causal analysis in European integration studies by considering the sub-field of Europeanization. First, we examine the awareness of research design issues in the literature on Europeanization through a review of the debate on causality, concept formation and methods. Second, we analyse how much of the discussion of the trade-offs in causal analysis in mainstream political science has percolated into Europeanization studies. We therefore construct a sample of the Europeanization literature, comparing it to a control group of highly cited articles on European integration. This enables us to control if some patterns are specific to the Europeanization literature or reflect a more general trend in European integration. We then look at trade-offs in the Europeanization sample and in the control group. Our findings indicate that awareness of research design is still low. Europeanization articles differ from the control group in the focus on mechanisms (rather than variables) and the qualitative aspects of time in politics. Complex notions of causality prevail in Europeanization but not in the control group and the cause-of-effects approach is preferred to effects-of-causes in the control group but not in Europeanization - in both cases, however, the difference is slight. We conclude by explaining differences and similarities and make proposals for future research. Copyright (c) 2009 The Author(s). Journal compilation (c) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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