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Discover ECPR's Latest Methods Course Offerings

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Seasoned Scholars Workshop: Multi-Method Designs, Case-oriented and Comparative Methods

Course Dates and Times

Thursday 26 July

13:30-15:00 / 15:30-17:00

Friday 27 July and Saturday 28 July

09:00-10:30 / 11:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00 / 15:30-17:00

Benoît Rihoux

Université catholique de Louvain

This workshop, tailored for scholars with significant research experience beyond the PhD and organised on a flexible basis to meet their specific needs, covers a broad range of case-oriented methods and designs (single case studies, process tracing, ‘thick’ binary comparisons, etc…), comparative methods and designs (small-N comparisons, intermediate-N comparison across multiple cases, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and neighbouring methods, typology-building, etc…), and ‘mixed’/multi-methods designs combining qualitative, comparative and/or quantitative methods.

Instructor Bio

Benoît Rihoux is a full professor of political science whose research interests include political parties, new social movements, organisational studies, political change, and policy processes.

He is manager of the COMPASSS international research group on comparative methods, in the development and refinement of which he plays a leading role, bringing together scholars from Europe, North America and Japan in particular.

Benoît is a convenor of international methods initiatives more generally, and has published Innovative Comparative Methods for Policy Analysis: Beyond the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide (Springer/Kluwer, ed. with Heike Grimm 2006) and Configurational Comparative Methods: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques (Sage, ed. with Charles Ragin 2009).

He has published extensively on systematic comparative methods (QCA in particular) and their applications in diverse fields – especially policy- and management-related – with interdisciplinary teams.

Who should take this workshop?

Scholars with significant research experience beyond the PhD. Typical research methods needs / challenges you might face include:

  • writing up the methods section of a research project
  • choosing the appropriate method(s) for a funded project
  • arbitrating between methodological options
  • updating your knowledge of recent evolutions in methods applicable to your field
  • troubleshooting your own methods use
  • learning which methods experts to contact for what
  • getting advice on methods training for your team members
  • receiving feedback on a syllabus you are putting together
  • getting advice on methodological topics in existing syllabi.

We recognise that time is scarce for seasoned scholars like you. This workshop offers you a time-efficient formula to get tailored advice from senior methodologists.

Workshop structure

Phase 1

March–June 2018 – input phase, registration and confirmation of the workshop

To take part, email Benoît  before Monday 7 May (though the earlier the better) with a list of core questions or problems you currently face. Benoît will then tailor this workshop to your needs.

Registration closes on Thursday 31 May; first come, first served. To guarantee best-quality advice and peer-to-peer interaction, we will take a maximum of nine participants.

Workshop confirmation no later than Monday 4 June.

Phase 2

The workshop, 26 – 28 July; 15 hours over three days

Seasoned Scholar Workshop 02 takes place in parallel with Seasoned Scholar Workshop 01, a quantitative methods workshop taught by CEU’s Tamás Rudas

If both Workshops are confirmed, and should it meet with the participants' needs, we will convene a common session involving Tamás and Benoît, their Teaching Assistants and participants from all workshops.

Benoît will organise each day’s schedule flexibly, around participants’ needs. The workshop will involve group discussions / Q&A sessions around each participant’s personal projects, as well as discussions on overarching methodological issues. There will be ample time for one-to-one meetings with Benoît and his TA. 

You can book at least one appointment with the other Seasoned Scholar Workshop instructor Tamás, and you’ll have the chance to talk informally with other methods experts over dinner on the final day.


  • Lunch + coffee/tea/soft drinks/light snacks provided on all three days
  • Informal dinner on day 1 (teaching staff & workshop participants)
  • Informal dinner on day 3 (teaching staff & workshop participants, plus ECPR Methods School instructors selected for their expertise in topics directly relevant to participants)

Phase 3

August–October 2018 – additional guidance, if needed

Benoît and his Teaching Assistant will remain available for up to four Skype appointments per participant. You are also welcome to email them for further guidance.

Each course includes pre-course assignments, including readings and pre-recorded videos, as well as daily live lectures totalling at least two hours. The instructor will conduct live Q&A sessions and offer designated office hours for one-to-one consultations.

Please check your course format before registering.

Online courses

Live classes will be held daily for two hours on a video meeting platform, allowing you to interact with both the instructor and other participants in real-time. To avoid online fatigue, the course employs a pedagogy that includes small-group work, short and focused tasks, as well as troubleshooting exercises that utilise a variety of online applications to facilitate collaboration and engagement with the course content.

In-person courses

In-person courses will consist of daily three-hour classroom sessions, featuring a range of interactive in-class activities including short lectures, peer feedback, group exercises, and presentations.


This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc.). Registered participants will be informed at the time of change.

By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, please contact us before registering.