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Extra resources for A Decision Making Methodology In Support Of The Business Rules Lifecycle.IEEE.1997

Sample text

We would then have to repeat this for each pm of the mechanism. Even more problematic, as Runhardt herself admits, "a similarity comparison in areas like political science is, however, difficult to defend" (2015: 1306), because of rhe complexity of rhe social world, meaning char there usually are no cases in which the "all ocher things equal" assump­ tion required in a natural experiment actually hold (we return to chis ques­ tion in chapter 7). And even if we could manipulate each of che pares of the mechanism in isolation co assess whether the absence of one results in the mechanism breaking down, this assumes that there is nor redundancy embedded in che mechanism.

8 If C is present and 0 does not occur in a parcicular case, we would not be sacisfied in case-based designs wich concluding chat the chosen case was an ouclier from an ocherwise strong probabilistic mean causal effecc. lnscead, if our oncological understanding is deterministic, we would wane co know what it is abouc the analyzed deviant case chac resulted in che nonoccurrence of 0 despice che presence of C. After examining both the devianc case itself and comparing ic with ocher posicive cases, we might find chac there was an omicted cause in che devianc case, wich 0 occurring only when C and C, are present together.

While we can incorpo­ rate the role of temporalicy co solve the firsc problem, it does noc necessarily solve the challenge created by potential shared background causes. This is why many scholars argue chac confirmacion of causal relationships is possible only when we have che actual manipulation of cause in experimencs; every­ thing else is merely evidence of correlations. We agree wich chis in relation co counterfaccuals based on observational data, which is why we argue in chis book thac comparative methods do noc enable us to confirm causal claims.

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