The research approach is a single in-depth case study, with the ACIA history, process, and content as its empirical base. A case study can be seen as social-science's equivalent to a microscope. It is limited in scope but allows for a thick, context-sensitive description of the process that is in focus.4 Case studies can be used in a number of different ways.5 This study is based on an inductive approach: it started with a general aim and remained open to new relations, concepts, and understandings as the study progressed, similar to the case-study philosophy described by Merriam and Stake.6 The analytical framework presented in the previous chapter was thus not pre-defined and used for coding observations, interviews, or documents. Rather the analytical lenses grew out of initial observations and interviews and were refined throughout the process in an iterative interaction between the empirical material and the theoretical perspectives taken from the available literature.7
Oran. R. Young, Arctic Politics. Conflict and Cooperation in the Circumpolar North (Hanover: Dartmouth College University Press of New England, 1992); Young, Creating Regimes: Arctic Accords and International Governance; Schram Stokke, "International Institutions and Arctic Governance." Downie and Fenge, Northern Lights Against POPs.
Catherine Hakim, Research Design. Strategies and Choices in the Design of Social Research (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987), 619.
Robert K. Yin, Case Study Research. Design and Methods (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1994).
Sharon B. Merriam, Fallstudien som forskningsmetod (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1994); Robert E. Stake,
The Art of Case Study Research (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1995).
Evert Gummesson, "Fallstudiebaserad forskning," in Kunskapande metoder inom samhällsvetenska-pen, ed. Bengt Gustavsson, 115-144 (Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2003), 120.
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