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Method Parallelization and Method Triangulation: Method Combinations in the Analysis of Humanitarian Interventions

GPS, Vol. 7 No. 3, (2011)

This article investigates the combinations of methods. It introduces the distinction
between method triangulation, method parallelization and corresponding
subtypes along the dimension of data generation and data analysis
methods. While scholars often refer to the triangulation when describing in
fact parallelization, the two should be clearly distinguished: method triangulation
is based on a vertical logic of combining methods to aggregate data or
data analysis techniques for the score of one explanatory factor, method
parallelization follows a horizontal logic of combining methods according to
their conceptual linkages. The article outlines the different challenges of
each combination strategy and distinguishes between two types of method
triangulation (data generation triangulation and data analysis triangulation)
and three types of method parallelization (multivariate designs, research
programs, and causal processes). To illustrate the differences and the applications
between triangulation and parallelization, the article investigates a
causal process of humanitarian interventions and analyzes both media attention
and government action in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and
the United States when it comes to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur/Sudan.

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