HomeIAMURE International Journal of Social Sciencesvol. 5 no. 1 (2013)

Comprehensive Trace Processing: A Qualitative Innovation in Social Science Case Study Analysis

Wesley Evan Kendall

Discipline: Social Science



This paper proposes a new social science oriented methodological approach to examining the behaviour of different policymaker’s actions in the process of shaping and implementing public policies. Under this new model, the policymakers behaviour constitutes the dependent variable under observation in the study, while various external mechanisms are treated as independent variables acting to manipulate policy outcomes. Each of the objects studied in their respective models, as well as each of the external mechanisms, are inextricably intertwined in the political systems which enact, adjudicate, and ultimately implement policy. As complex organizations, these dependent variables are infinitely complicated and their behavioural patterns subject to multiple independent variable impacts. This proposed case study model will focus on individual cases that allow for an in depth examination of events and draw inferential causal connections using a number of innovative techniques. The mechanisms of policy change, or the independent variables, will additionally be explored using a case study analysis and intervening causal factors will be carefully examined by using within case analysis to plot interrelationships among event observations. The validity of a hypothesis would be rigorously tested by both within-case analyses which examine different elements of the case for intervening causes, and will be supplemented by a comparative cross-case analysis when appropriate, and further bolstered by a novel interview process to reject or reinforce inferential assumptions drawn from the model. This unique combination of qualitative testing methodologies, when applied in linear sequence, creates a rigorous analytical framework with enhanced internal and external model validity that can be utilized across social science disciplines.