● Research question and immediate debate.
● How the PhD addresses and resolves the debate.
● The new theory that the PhD develops.
● New causal and/or explanatory variables that are introduced.
● The essential argument that the PhD makes.
● The specific contributions of each PhD chapter.
● The PhD’s overall structure and plan.
Chapter 1: New Theory
● The chapter’s goal.
● The literature gap and what it reveals for the research question.
● The basic reorientation that the chapter achieves.
● The critical assumptions of existing theories.
● What the chapter will achieve: its original contribution.
Overview of the Existing Literature
● The major paradigms and causal claims of the major theories.
● Theory Strand 1 and subsequent developments.
● Major theoreticians and contributions for Theory Strand 1.
● The theory-building structure of Theory Strand 1.
● Critics of Theory Strand 1.
● Similar structure for Theory Strand 2, 3 . . . n.
Analysis of the Major Theories
● The theory-building gap / puzzle in the Theory Strands and what the New Theory resolves.
● Past work that is suggestive of the puzzle that the New Theory resolves.
● Why the theoretical arguments remain underdeveloped.
● Competing theories that fail in explanatory power compared with the New Theory, and why.
● What the New Theory introduces as a new causal and/or explanatory variable.
● The foundations and key assumptions of the New Theory.
● The causal logics of the New Theory.
● Theory-building tensions between the New Theory and existing theories.
● The concept at the heart of the New Theory.
● Incomplete notions that the New Theory addresses.
● Deductive or inductive logics of the New Theory.
● The New Theory’s different set of priorities.
● Exogenous conditions that shape the New Theory.
● Primary factors that shape the New Theory.
Summary of the Argument and Competing Hypotheses
● Summary of the chapter’s original contribution to theory-building and theory-testing.
● Diagrammatic summary of the New Theory’s causal logic.
● Expectations and implications of the New Theory.
● What the case studies will demonstrate about the New Theory.
● What Chapter 2 on methodologies will discuss about the case studies.
● What the case studies will demonstrate about the New Theory versus its alternatives.
● Closing argument on the value of considering the New Theory.
Chapter 2: Methodology
● What methodology has been used in the major studies to-date in the problem domain.
● What recent studies have demonstrated in terms of methodology selection.
● What the case studies will contribute to a new understanding of methodology.
● Summary of the chapter’s planned contribution to methodology.
Contribution of Past Studies
● The key variables that the problem domain and major studies revolved around.
● The major studies in the problem domain and the debate around them.
● What new studies in the problem domain have revealed.
● What new possible variables are needed to answer the past debates.
● The major studies that suggest the need for new possible variables.
● What is incomplete about the major studies’ explanations of new possible variables.
● How the major studies have tried to deal with this incompleteness.
● What the New Theory would suggest in dealing with this incompleteness.
● Recent studies which anticipate the New Theory in terms of methodology.
● Findings from recent studies that cause a rethink of prevailing assumptions.
● Conjectures that are partial explanations of the New Theory.
● What has been put forward separately that suggests the New Theory.
● How to interpret the findings of these studies.
● Summary of the main findings of past and recent studies.
A New Approach and a Summary of Findings
● The limitations of past and recent studies that the new approach will address.
● Causal methods and process tracing of the new approach.
● How selection bias and generalizability will be dealt with.
A New Approach to the Study’s Dependent Variable
● The deductive logic of the study’s dependent variable.
● Limitations of existing deductive logic to deal with the study’s dependent variable.
● Additional problems that are faced in understanding the study’s dependent variable.
● Defining the study’s factors.
● Explanatory reasons for the study’s factors.
● Endogenous nature of the study’s factors.
● Justification of the study’s chosen method.
● Scoping of the study’s chosen method and required data collection.
● How to evaluate the evidence from the required data collection.
● The larger causal picture that the data collection fits into.
● Summary of the study’s key research questions that the case studies will answer.
A Summary of the Findings
● Structure of the summary.
● Structure of each selected case study.
● Criterion for case study selection.
● Summary of across-case comparison.
● How the case studies answer the study’s key research questions.
● What the required data collection revealed to answer the study’s key research questions.
● What was novel and / or surprising about the study’s findings.
● How the findings support the New Theory versus existing alternative explanations.
● How the data collection evidence deals with potential criticism of the New Theory.
● Discussion of the case studies and the data collection evidence.
● What the case studies reveal about systematic variables.
● Summary of case study interpretation and New Theory framework.
Chapters 3 and 4: Case Studies
● What the chapter’s case study is on.
● How the New Theory provides an explanation that existing alternatives do not do.
● Potential complications of the case study.
● How existing alternatives may answer some aspects of the case study versus the New Theory.
Origins of the Case Study
● The scholarly consensus on the case study.
● The key causal factors that the case study will address.
● What is critical and not so critical in the case study.
● The knowledge gaps that the New Theory will fill in the case study versus existing alternatives.
Background of the Case Study
● Deep roots of the case study.
● Major events in the causality of the case study.
● Major decisions in the causality of the case study.
● Major strategies of the strategic actors of the case study.
● Re-evaluation of historical periods of the case study.
● Popularity of existing explanations of the case study.
● Limitations in the existing explanations of the case study that the New Theory addresses.
● Reasons for the changes in policy of the strategic actors of the case study.
● Summary of the historical chronology of the case study.
Case Study Pivotal Decision and / or Historical Period
● Background to the pivotal decision and / or historical period.
● Major pivotal decisions and / or events of the historical period.
● The decisions and reactions of different strategic actors.
● Summary of the key dynamics in the pivotal decision and / or historical period.
● The main categories that the case study explanations can be grouped into.
● The level of analysis that the different case study explanations function in.
● Key aspects of the original argument that the case study makes.
● What evidence the original argument draws on.
● Key events that the original argument uses.
● Key decisions, expectations and priorities that advance the original argument.
● What the above analysis demonstrates.
● Implications of the above analysis.
● How views and aims of the strategic actors evolved over the key events.
● Summary of what the case study explains versus existing alternatives.
Analysis of Case Study Strategic Actor and Temporal Period
● Existing consensus in the scholarly literature.
● Problems with the existing consensus.
● Weakness of the existing consensus that opens the way for the New Theory.
● Basic facts of the case study milieu.
● Strategic actor priorities and obsessions in their decision calculus.
● Chronology of key events and decisions.
● Systematic causes versus unit-level causes.
● How the above analysis supports the New Theory and challenges existing alternatives.
● This chapter’s original contribution.
● What the case studies illuminate about the knowledge gap.
● The causal chronology and the case study results.
Chapter 5: Implications of the Argument
● What the project and the case studies have shown.
● What existing alternatives state about the key research questions.
● How the New Theory addresses the key research questions.
● What new dimensions must be incorporated into the New Theory for explanations.
● What the New Theory builds on in terms of paradigmatic logic.
● How the major strategic actors might reason using awareness of the New Theory.
● Comparative logics of the major strategic actors using awareness of the New Theory.
● The empirical outcomes of the New Theory and the case studies.
● What the rest of the chapter will achieve.
Broader Implications of the Theory
● What the case study chapters have shown about the New Theory.
● What the methodology chapters have shown about the New Theory.
● Insights of the New Theory about the strategic actors in the case studies.
● How the New Theory helps to understand knowledge gaps in existing alternatives.
● What the case studies have revealed about the study’s dependent variable.
● Implications of the New Theory for unit-level variables.
● Practical implications of the New Theory.
● Further methodological advances that the New Theory might underpin.
● Explanatory and predictive value of the New Theory and case studies.
● New research that can be undertaken using the New Theory.
● Further theoretical studies that are needed to understand the New Theory.
● Dilemmas and puzzles that can be explored using the study’s findings.
● Final implications for the development of sound theories.