How networks of local political actors build the pan-Alpine region
This chapter begins with a presentation of the research design conceived for the study. I explain why I chose to use an interpretative method based on a single case embedded research design. The case under investigation, namely three pan-Alpine networks of local political actors, comprises three principal units of analysis: the Alliance in the Alps, Alparc and Alpine Pearls networks. In the second part of the chapter, I introduce the three methods used to collect primary data (questionnaires, interviews and first-hand observations) and the strategy adopted to analyse them. In the third part, I propose some reflections on my position in this research.
3.1 Research design
Robert Yin suggests four basic types of research designs for case studies (Yin, 2003: 40). In this research I apply the single-case embedded research design. Yin visualizes this type of design as follows:
Fig. 1: Research design, based on Yin, 2003.
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In the context of the Alpine regionalization process, the analysis will focus on a case study, i. e. networks of local political actors. The case study, highlighting how social configurations of actors and mechanisms of regional construction are taking place in the Alps, is composed of three main units of analysis (namely the Alliance in the Alps, Alparc and Alpine Pearls networks). The three chosen networks will be analysed as emblematic examples of a more generalized phenomenon: the constitution of a number of networks involving...
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