This chapter describes the methods that were used to answer the main research questions. It lays out the empirical research design, which is based on a comparative case study, explains its post-positivist approach, and the importance of discourses in shaping the policy process. The rationale for the case studies and the organization of the book is spelled out. The similarities and differences of Georgia and Zhejiang are sketched and the selection of Atlanta and Jinhua as areas of similarly high social vulnerability to climate change is explained. The chapter details the data collection and analysis methods: semi-structured expert interviews (53 interviews with 71 people in China and the United States split almost evenly between the two countries), interview coding, participant observation and document analysis (in multiple languages). The analysis of data was guided by Grounded Theory to enable a comparative problem analysis from the work process without taking a priori assumptions. This makes the study an explorative research endeavor upon which further research can be built. The chapter ends by spelling out the limitations of the study.