Introduction
in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
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There is a long history of case study research in the field of International Relations. This introductory chapter summarizes the benefits that derive from case study research and summarizes the insight and analysis that come from the chapters in the edited collection. Case study research is an attempt to develop theory or seek an answer to an apparent anomaly by the intensive study of a single case or group of cases. The principal advantage of this methodology is it is particularly good at exploring causal mechanisms. While some sight the problem of external validity when focusing on a single case study, the researchers in this volume are careful not to over-generalize from the single case. The chapters in this volume explain various aspects of the Northern Ireland peace process and further our understanding of various theories of International Relations related to conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

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