Methods in governance research: a review of research approaches

Methods in governance research: a review of research approaches

The literature relating to the relationship between governance and inclusive growth does not appear to have reached convergence towards a preferred methodological approach. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different social science research method approaches in the analysis of governance in developing countries.

The paper provides an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of four types of interpretative research method approaches: econometric and statistical methods, qualitative case-studies, historical institutionalism and randomised controlled trials. Consequently, the document argues that a more sophisticated use of governance as a tool of analysis in development economics will enhance the depth and explanatory power of economic models of development, particularly as it relates to what is understood as inclusive growth.

In this respect, the author suggests that political economy approaches that analyse the effectiveness of good governance in fostering inclusive growth could benefit from adopting a range of methodological approaches. Furthermore, he suggests that one of the approaches that appear to offer the most optimal ‘bridging’ link between variable-based and qualitative approaches are randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

All things considered, the paper concludes that funding on research on good governance and inclusive growth should explicitly encourage the usage of RCTs to derive more substantive and robust insights.


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