Chapter 5: Historical methods
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This chapter explores some of the pitfalls of investigating theoretical claims with historical research and discusses strategies to navigate them. It addresses this from the point of view of social scientists, whose primary concern is theory development and testing, rather than that of a historian. It begins by introducing a theoretical question and identifying the steps a qualitative researcher will need to take in order to address it. It then walks the reader the each of the principle steps the researcher will need to take - including identifying candidate theories, selecting cases, establishing criteria of success, identifying variables, indicators, baselines, and thresholds to evaluate the theoretical claims, selecting appropriate sources, setting reasonable standards of evidence, and interpreting the evidence - and their associated challenges. It concludes with a call for careful research and nuanced, rather than overstated, conclusions.

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