Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The enduring importance and utility of comparative research in sociology are as old as the discipline itself. Although comparative research flourishes within this discipline, methodological problems persist. After defining comparative research, this article outlines some of its central problems, including: (1) case selection, unit, level and scale of analysis; (2) construct equivalence; (3) variable or case orientation; and (4) causality. The discussion finishes with a brief introduction of the critical and innovative articles within this special issue that not only address these problems, but also present promising solutions. © International Sociological Association.

Original publication




Journal article


International Sociology

Publication Date





619 - 631