ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Panel Details
Back to Panel Details

Introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

Eva Thomann
e.thomann@exeter.ac.uk

University of Exeter

Eva Thomann is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Politics of the University of Exeter who specialises in Public Policy and Public Administration. Previously she held research positions at the University of Bern, the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, the University of Heidelberg, and the European University Institute in Florence. 

Eva is the first author of Designing Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). and the award-winning monograph Customized implementation of European Union food safety policy: United in diversity? 

She has published extensively on case-oriented and set-theoretic research methods, policy implementation, and Europeanisation using innovative case-oriented and set-theoretic methodology such as Enhanced Standard Analysis, formal set-theoretic theory evaluation, robustness tests, large-N QCA, congruence analysis, explanatory typologies, and Comparative Multilevel Analysis.

Eva Thomann teaches case-oriented and set-theoretic methods at doctoral schools, invited workshops, and at MA level. She serves in various international networks and contributes to the development of pedagogical resources and other innovations in the use and teaching of QCA. See her personal website

Eva Thomann @EvaThomann


Course Dates and Times

Monday 17 – Friday 21 February, 09:00–12:30
15 hours over five days

Prerequisite Knowledge

Before signing up for this course, you should have taken Eva's short course Foundations of set-theoretic and case-oriented methods.

If you can provide evidence of equivalent prior training, you may be admitted to this course. In case of doubt, please contact the instructor via email.

‘The dense theoretical part of this course grasps the very foundations of QCA and clarifies doubts on your research design. The practical element in the lab is also helpful for those, like me, who are beginners in R. Eva Thomann and her assistants were well-prepared, eager to help, and entertaining. I highly recommend this course!’ ꟷ Adriana Cuppuleri, School of International Studies, University of Trento

Attended this course in 2019


Short Outline

This course introduces you to crisp set and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and its analysis in R. It will give you a basic understanding of the analytic underpinnings and steps of QCA, and enable you to independently perform a basic crisp or fuzzy set QCA (Standard Analysis).

We will look at the origins, analytic aims, and variants of QCA and deal in depth with techniques and practices of set calibration. The nuts and bolts the QCA technique, from parameters of fit to all steps of the analyses of necessity and sufficiency, are illustrated based on an empirical example study which we replicate in class. We will then cover the presentation and interpretation of QCA results, as well as ways to deal with limited diversity and other potential pitfalls. Hands-on exercises and daily lab sessions provide opportunities for practice and engagement.

Tasks for ECTS Credits

2 credits (pass/fail grade) Attend 90% of the course hours, participate fully in in-class activities, and carry out the necessary reading and/or other work prior to, and after, class. Daily assignments will be either solutions to exercises provided after each lesson (to be submitted in Word format or equivalent), or solutions to R exercises (to be submitted as R script file).

4 credits As above, plus complete a take-home paper. The paper (2,500–4,000 words, excluding title page, references and appendices) will consist of one of the following:

  • a replication of a published QCA study (necessity and Standard Analysis)
  • a QCA (necessity and Standard Analysis) based on participants’ own data
  • (only after consulting with the instructor) a critical reflection of/epistemological engagement with methodological, QCA-related aspects of your own projects or a published study.

In case of the former two, you will need to submit the paper (in Word or equivalent) and the separate R script documenting your analysis. Submission deadline 6 March 2020.

More information about assignments will be provided in class. You will be provided with a list of applied QCA studies from different disciplines for inspiration.


Long Course Outline

This course introduces you to crisp set and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis and its analysis in R using the interactive graphical interface of the package QCA and scripts. It will give you a basic understanding of the analytic underpinnings and steps of QCA and enable you to independently perform a basic crisp or fuzzy set QCA (Standard Analysis). Hands-on exercises and daily lab sessions provide opportunities for practice and engagement.

Depending on how many ECTS points you want, you can engage in a blend of 'manual' exercises (e.g. calibrating sets, Boolean algebra, crisp-set QCA) and R assignments, for which solutions will either be provided or discussed in the next lab session. At the end of the course, you will:

  • Be able to correctly identify the suitable use, variant of, and approach to QCA for answering your research question
  • Be familiar with approaches to and issues of set calibration
  • Have a solid understanding of the logical and technical underpinnings of QCA
  • Be familiar with a selection of classic and recent key readings about QCA
  • Be able to independently carry out an analysis of necessity and sufficiency (Standard Analysis) with crisp and fuzzy sets using either code or the user-friendly shiny GUI app of the R package QCA, visualise the results, and document your analysis
  • Be able to understand and interpret the results of a QCA, and assess the quality of a QCA study
  • Have a basic understanding of potential pitfalls when drawing inferences with QCA, and ways to address them.

The course, which has an introductory and applied character, presupposes the knowledge and skills taught in the short course Foundations of set-theoretic and case-oriented methods.

It will not cover advanced analytic tools for QCA such as Enhanced Standard Analysis, theory evaluation, or set-theoretic multi-method analysis. To learn these more advanced features, we recommend you follow this course up with the second week of the Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Fuzzy Sets course at our 2020 Summer School in Budapest and the Advanced Topics in Set-Theoretic Methods and QCA course at our 2021 Winter Methods School.

We will use the R packages QCA (and where warranted, SetMethods) and work primarily with command lines offering the most advanced functionality for QCA software. If you are not interested in working with code, we will also introduce the user-friendly, interactive graphical interface (shiny GUI app) offering more basic functionality. We will document our work in R scripts and discuss how to interpret and work with R commands. The course will give you basic familiarity with R and enable you to transparently document your analysis for replication. You will need further training or self-study to gain full proficiency in R.

Day one
We look at the origins, analytic aims, and variants of QCA, and deal in depth with techniques and practices of set calibration. We discuss the distinction between QCA as a technique and QCA as an approach, and what that implies for designing research and taking analytic decisions. The lab session serves two purposes: to get familiar and play around with RStuddio and the graphical interface of the shiny GUI app, and to briefly refresh, deepen and practice the contents on causal complexity, INUS causation, and Boolean algebra.

Day two
We introduce the technical underpinnings of QCA, and discuss how to calculate the membership of cases in sets and complex combinations of sets (such as truth table rows or solution terms). We look at the meaning and calculation of two main parameters of fit with QCA: consistency and coverage. By ways of XY plots, we learn how to assess fuzzy set relations of necessity and sufficiency using these criteria. The lab session covers set calibration, combining sets, and producing nice graphs – XY plots and Venn diagrams – with R.

Day three
We do our own basic QCA, looking first at all steps of the analyses of necessity and sufficiency, explained with the example of an empirical study. We look briefly at the implications of skewed set membership for these analytic steps. In the lab session, you will do your own first crisp set QCA by hand. Using R, we will then analyse simple set relations, construct and inspect a truth table, and discuss how to identify appropriate raw consistency thresholds.

Day four
We begin with another lab session, rather than a lecture, in which we perform the full analyses of necessity and sufficiency (conservative solution). The rest of the day is dedicated to the presentation and interpretation of the results, feeding back into the notion of QCA as an approach. In the lecture, we discuss the interpretation of parameters of fit, and how to make sense of complex QCA results, using empirical, conceptual, and theoretical knowledge. We will look at different possibilities of presenting QCA results, corresponding good practices and transparency requirements.

Day five
Dedicated to potential pitfalls in QCA in the face of 'noisy' empirical data. Specifically, we will talk about limited diversity, its implications for making counterfactual arguments in comparative research, and possibilities for doing so in QCA when resorting to conservative, intermediate, and parsimonious solutions types. We will learn about the distinction between 'easy' and 'difficult' counterfactuals and their implementation via the so-called 'Standard Analysis'. In the lab session, we implement Standard Analysis with R and very briefly look at the issue of model ambiguity. 

Day Topic Details
Day 1 QCA: underpinnings, variants, and approaches

Lecture (lecture room, 90’)

Origin, dissemination, uses and variants of QCA
Calibrating sets
QCA as an approach

Lab session (computer lab, 90’)

Introduction to R using the shiny GUI app Refresher: set relations, INUS and SUIN conditions, Boolean algebra
Daily assignment: exercises in Boolean algebra

Day 2 Understanding the technique

Lecture (lecture room, 90’)

Calculating membership in sets
Parameters of fit
Analyzing XY plots

Lab session (computer lab, 90’)

Set calibration
Combining sets
Graphs (XY plots and Venn diagrams)

Daily assignment: set calibration

Day 3 Let’s do QCA!

Lecture (lecture room, 90’)

Analyses of necessity and sufficiency explained: an example
A brief treatment of skewed data in QCA

Lab session (computer lab, 90’)

Manual exercises:
Crisp-set QCA
Attributing cases to truth table rows

With R:

Necessity and sufficiency of single conditions
Constructing and inspecting a truth table

Daily assignment: finding a raw consistency threshold

Day 4 Making sense of QCA

Lab session (computer lab, 90’)

Fuzzy-set QCA of necessity and sufficiency (conservative solution)
Interpretation of results

Daily assignment: simple analysis of necessity and sufficiency with R

Lecture (lecture room, 90’)

Interpreting parameters of fit and QCA solutions
Causal complexity in QCA results
Post-QCA case selection
Presentation of results and standards of transparency

Day 5 Limited empirical diversity and other potential pitfalls

Lecture (lecture room, 90’)

Limited diversity and counterfactual reasoning
Conservative, parsimonious and intermediate solution types
The Standard Analysis
The “problem” of robustness

Lab session (computer lab, 90’)

Standard Analysis
Model ambiguities
Discussion: QCA realists and idealists

Daily assignment: comparison and discussion of different QCA models

Day 1 QCA: underpinnings, variants, and approaches

90-minute lecture

  • Origin, dissemination, uses and variants of QCA
  • Calibrating sets
  • QCA as an approach

90-minute lab session

  • Introduction to R using the shiny GUI app
  • Refresher: set relations, INUS and SUIN conditions, Boolean algebra / introduction to R during office hour

Daily assignment: exercises in Boolean algebra

Day 2 Understanding the technique

90-minute lecture

  • Calculating membership in sets
  • Parameters of fit
  • Analysing XY plots

90-minute lab session

  • Set calibration
  • Combining sets
  • Graphs (XY plots and Venn diagrams)

Daily assignment: set calibration

Day 3 Let’s do QCA!

90-minute lecture

  • Analyses of necessity and sufficiency explained: an example
  • A brief treatment of skewed data in QCA

90-minute lab session

Manual exercises:

  • Crisp-set QCA
  • Attributing cases to truth table rows

With R:

  • Necessity and sufficiency of single conditions
  • Constructing and inspecting a truth table

Daily assignment: finding a raw consistency threshold

Day 4 Making sense of QCA

90-minute lab session

  • Fuzzy-set QCA of necessity and sufficiency (conservative solution)
  • Interpretation of results

90-minute lecture

  • Interpreting parameters of fit and QCA solutions
  • Causal complexity in QCA results
  • Post-QCA case selection
  • Presentation of results and standards of transparency

Daily assignment: simple analysis of necessity and sufficiency with R

Day 5 Limited empirical diversity and other potential pitfalls

90-minute lecture

  • Limited diversity and counterfactual reasoning
  • Conservative, parsimonious and intermediate solution types
  • Standard Analysis

90-minute lab session

  • Standard Analysis
  • Model ambiguities

Daily assignment: comparison and discussion of different QCA models

Day Readings
Day 1

Key readings

Berg-Schlosser, D., De Meur, G., Rihoux, B. and C. C. Ragin (2009). Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as an Approach. In Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin. Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications, 1-18.

Thomann, E. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as a tool for street-level bureaucracy research. In: Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy: The Ground Floor of Government in Context. Edward Elgar, Public Policy Series (Editor Peter Hupe).

Ragin, C. C. (2008). Measurement versus calibration: a set-theoretic approach. In Box-Steffensmeier, J. M., Brady, H.E. and D. Collier. The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. Oxford Handbooks Online: 174-198.

Further, optional readings

Berg-Schlosser, D. and G. De Meur (2009). Comparative research design: case and variable selection. In B. Rihoux and C.C. Ragin (Eds). Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques (pp. 19-32). Thousand Oaks and London.

Haesebrouck, T. (2015). The added value of multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research 17(1).

Rihoux, B., Alamos, P., Bol, D., Marx, A. and I. Rezsohazy (2013). From niche to mainstream method? A comprehensive mapping of QCA applications in journal articles from 1984 to 2011. Political Research Quarterly 66(1): 175-184.

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 23-41 (calibration), 253-274 (variants of QCA).

Thiem, A. (2014). Unifying configurational comparative methods: Generalized-set qualitative comparative analysis. Sociological Methods & Research 43(2): 313-337.

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2018). Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide. Chapters 1-3.

Day 2

Key readings

Rihoux, B. and G. De Meur (2009). Crisp-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (csQCA). In Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin. Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications, 33-68.

Ragin, C.C. (2009). Qualitative Comparative Analysis Using Fuzzy Sets (fsQCA). In Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin. Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications, 87-121.

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 117-150 (parameters of fit).

Further, optional readings

De Block, D. and B. Vis (2018). Addressing the Challenges Related to Transforming Qualitative Into Quantitative Data in Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, doi:1558689818770061.

Ragin, C.C. (2006). Set Relations in Social Research: Evaluating Their Consistency and Coverage. Political Analysis 14(3): 291-310.

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 42-90 (Boolean logic and set relations).

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2018). Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide. Chapters 4-5.

Toth, Z., Henneberg, S.C. and P. Naude (2017). Addressing the ‘Qualitative’in fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis: the generic membership evaluation template. Industrial Marketing Management 63: 192-204.

Day 3

Key readings

Hinterleitner, M., Sager, F. und E. Thomann (2016). The Politics of External Approval: Explaining the IMF’s Evaluation of Austerity Programs. European Journal of Political Research 55(3): 549–567.

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 69-76, 221-232 (necessity), 91-116 (truth tables), 178-194 (truth table algorithm).

Further, optional readings

Gerrits, L. M. and S. Verweij (2013). Critical Realism as a Meta-Framework for Understanding the Relationships between Complexity and Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Journal of Critical Realism 12(2): 166-82.

Goertz, G., & Mahoney, J. (2005). Two-level theories and fuzzy-set analysis. Sociological Methods & Research33(4), 497-538.

Goertz, G., & Starr, H. (Eds.). (2002). Necessary conditions: Theory, methodology, and applications. Rowman & Littlefield, pp.1-24, 47-94.

Oana, I.-E. and C.Q. Schneider. 2018. SetMethods: An Add-on R Package for Advanced QCA. The R Journal: 1–27. https://journal.r-project.org/archive/2018/RJ-2018-031/index.html.

Ragin, C.C. (1987/2014). The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. Univ of California Press, pp.85-124.

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 232-250 (skewed data).

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2018). Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide. Chapters 6-7.2.

Day 4

Key readings

Rihoux, B. and B. Lobe (2009). The case for qualitative comparative analysis (QCA): Adding leverage for thick cross-case comparison. The Sage Handbook of Case-Based Methods, pp. 222-242.

Schneider, C.Q. und C. Wagemann (2010). Standards of Good Practice in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Fuzzy Sets. Comparative Sociology 9(3): 397-418.

Wagemann, C. and C.Q. Schneider (2015). Transparency Standards in Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association’s QMMR Section 13(1): 38-42.

Further, optional readings

Castro, R. G. and M.A. Ariño (2016). A general approach to panel data set-theoretic research. Journal of Advances in Management Sciences & Information Systems 2: 63-76.

Fischer, M., & Maggetti, M. (2017). Qualitative comparative analysis and the study of policy processes. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice19(4), 345-361.

Thiem, A., Baumgartner, M. and D. Bol (2016). Still Lost in Translation! A Correction of Three Misunderstandings between Configurational Comparativists and Regressional Analysts. Comparative Political Studies, 49(6) 742–774.

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2018). Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide. Chapter 8.

Ragin, C.C. (1987/2014). The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. Univ of California Press, pp. 164-172.

Schneider, C. Q, and I. Rohlfing (2013). Combining QCA and process tracing in set-theoretic multi-method research. Sociological Methods & Research 42(4): 559-597.

Williams, T. and S.M. Gemperle (2017). Sequence will tell! Integrating temporality into set-theoretic multi-method research combining comparative process tracing and qualitative comparative analysis. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 20(2): 121-135.

Day 5

Key readings

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 151-177 (limited diversity and Standard Analysis), 284-294 (robustness).

Thomann, E. and M. Maggetti. 2017. Designing Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Approaches, Challenges, and Tools. Sociological Methods & Research, DOI: 10.1177/0049124117729700.

Further, optional readings

Baumgartner, M. (2015). Parsimony and Causality. Quality & Quantity 49: 839-856.

Baumgartner, M. and A. Thiem (2017). Model ambiguities in configurational comparative research. Sociological Methods & Research 46(4): 954-987.

Emmenegger, P. (2011). How good are your counterfactuals? Assessing quantitative macro-comparative welfare state research with qualitative criteria. Journal of European Social Policy 21(4): 365-380.

Maggetti, M. and D. Levi-Faur (2013). Dealing with Errors in QCA. Political Research Quarterly 66(1): 198-204.

Radaelli, C.M. and C. Wagemann (2018). What did I leave out? Omitted variables in regression and qualitative comparative analysis. European Political Science, DOI: 10.1057/s41304-017-0142-7.

Ragin, C.C. (2008). Easy Versus Difficult Counterfactuals. Redesigning Social Inquiry: Set Relations in Social Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, chapter 9.

Rohlfing, I. (2018). Power and False Negatives in Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Foundations, Simulation and Estimation for Empirical Studies. Political Analysis 26(1): 72-89.

Schneider, C.Q. (2018). Realists and Idealists in QCA. Political Analysis, DOI: 10.1017/pan.2017. 45.

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2013). Doing Justice to Logical Remainders in QCA: Moving Beyond the Standard Analysis. Political Research Quarterly 66(1): 211-220.

Skaaning, S. (2011). Assessing the robustness of crisp-set and fuzzy-set QCA results. Sociological Methods & Research 40(2): 391-408.

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2018). Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide. Chapters 7.3-7.5.

Day 1

Key readings

Hinterleitner, M., Sager, F. und E. Thomann (2016)
The Politics of External Approval: Explaining the IMF’s Evaluation of Austerity Programs
European Journal of Political Research 55(3): 549–567

Oana, I.E., Schneider, C.Q. and E. Thomann (forthcoming)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R, chapter 3 (calibration)
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Thomann, E. (2019)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as a tool for street-level bureaucracy research, pp. 370–391
In: Hupe. P. (Ed.) Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy: The Ground Floor of Government in Context
Edward Elgar, Public Policy Series

Duşa, A. (2018)
QCA with R. A Comprehensive Resource
New York: Springer International Publishing, chapter 2

Further, optional readings

Berg-Schlosser, D., De Meur, G., Rihoux, B. and C. C. Ragin (2009)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as an Approach
In Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin, Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications, 1–18

Berg-Schlosser, D. and G. De Meur (2009)
Comparative research design: case and variable selection, pp. 19–32
In B. Rihoux and C.C. Ragin (Eds), Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques
Thousand Oaks and London

Haesebrouck, T. (2015)
The added value of multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research 17(1)

Oana, I.E., Schneider, C.Q. and E. Thomann (forthcoming)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R, chapters 1–2
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Ragin, C. C. (2008)
Measurement versus calibration: a set-theoretic approach, pp. 174–198
In Box-Steffensmeier, J. M., Brady, H.E. and D. Collier, The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology
Oxford Handbooks Online

Rihoux, B., Alamos, P., Bol, D., Marx, A. and I. Rezsohazy (2013)
From niche to mainstream method? A comprehensive mapping of QCA applications in journal articles from 1984 to 2011
Political Research Quarterly 66(1): 175–184

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012)
Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis, pp. 23–41 (calibration), 253–274 (variants of QCA)
New York: Cambridge University Press

Thiem, A. (2014)
Unifying configurational comparative methods: Generalized-set qualitative comparative analysis
Sociological Methods & Research 43(2): 313–337

Day 2

Key readings

Ragin, C.C. (2009)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis Using Fuzzy Sets (fsQCA)
In Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin, Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications, 87–121

Ragin, C.C. (2006)
Set Relations in Social Research: Evaluating Their Consistency and Coverage
Political Analysis 14(3): 291–310

Further, optional readings

De Block, D. and B. Vis (2018)
Addressing the Challenges Related to Transforming Qualitative Into Quantitative Data in Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Journal of Mixed Methods Research, doi:1558689818770061

Legewie, N. (2017)
Anchored calibration: From qualitative data to fuzzy sets
Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research 18(3): 24

Rihoux, B. and G. De Meur (2009)
Crisp-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (csQCA)
In Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin, Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications, 33–68

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012)
Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis, pp. 42–90 (Boolean logic and set relations), 117–150 (parameters of fit)
New York: Cambridge University Press

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2019)
Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide
Chapters 4–5

Toth, Z., Henneberg, S.C. and P. Naude (2017)
Addressing the ‘Qualitative’ in fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis: the generic membership evaluation template
Industrial Marketing Management 63: 192–204

Day 3

Key readings

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012)
Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis pp. 221–232 (necessity), 91–116 (truth tables), 178–194 (truth table algorithm)
New York: Cambridge University Press

Further, optional readings

Gerrits, L. M. and S. Verweij (2013)
Critical Realism as a Meta-Framework for Understanding the Relationships between Complexity and Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Journal of Critical Realism 12(2): 166–82

Goertz, G., & Starr, H. (Eds.). (2002)
Necessary conditions: Theory, methodology, and applications
Rowman & Littlefield, pp.1–24, 47–94

Oana, I.-E. and C.Q. Schneider. 2018
SetMethods: An Add-on R Package for Advanced QCA
The R Journal: 1–27

Oana, I.E., Schneider, C.Q. and E. Thomann (forthcoming)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, chapters 4–5

Ragin, C.C. (1987/2014)
The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies
University of California Press, pp.85
124

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012)
Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis
New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 232–250 (skewed data)

Day 4

Key readings

Ragin, C.C. (1987/2014)
The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies
University of California Press, pp. 164–172

Rihoux, B. and B. Lobe (2009)
The case for qualitative comparative analysis (QCA): Adding leverage for thick cross-case comparison
The Sage Handbook of Case-Based Methods, pp. 222–242

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2010)
Standards of Good Practice in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Fuzzy Sets
Comparative Sociology 9(3): 397–418

Further, optional readings

Castro, R. G. and M.A. Ariño (2016)
A general approach to panel data set-theoretic research
Journal of Advances in Management Sciences & Information Systems 2: 63–76

Fischer, M., & Maggetti, M. (2017)
Qualitative comparative analysis and the study of policy processes
Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice19(4), 345–361

Schneider, C. Q, and I. Rohlfing (2013)
Combining QCA and process tracing in set-theoretic multi-method research
Sociological Methods & Research 42(4): 559–597

Thiem, A., Baumgartner, M. and D. Bol (2016)
Still Lost in Translation! A Correction of Three Misunderstandings between Configurational Comparativists and Regressional Analysts
Comparative Political Studies, 49(6) 742–774

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2019)
Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide
Chapter 8

Wagemann, C. and C.Q. Schneider (2015)
Transparency Standards in Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Qualitative and Multi-Method Research: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association’s QMMR Section 13(1): 38
42

Williams, T. and S.M. Gemperle (2017)
Sequence will tell! Integrating temporality into set-theoretic multi-method research combining comparative process tracing and qualitative comparative analysis
International Journal of Social Research Methodology 20(2): 121–135

Day 5

Key readings

Ragin, C.C. (2008)
Easy Versus Difficult Counterfactuals
Redesigning Social Inquiry: Set Relations in Social Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, chapter 9

Thomann, E. and M. Maggetti (2017)
Designing Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Approaches, Challenges, and Tools
Sociological Methods & Research, DOI: 10.1177/0049124117729700

Further, optional readings

Baumgartner, M. (2015)
Parsimony and Causality
Quality & Quantity 49: 83–856

Baumgartner, M. and A. Thiem (2017)
Model ambiguities in configurational comparative research
Sociological Methods & Research 46(4): 954–987

Emmenegger, P. (2011)
How good are your counterfactuals? Assessing quantitative macro-comparative welfare state research with qualitative criteria
Journal of European Social Policy 21(4): 365–380

Maggetti, M. and D. Levi-Faur (2013)
Dealing with Errors in QCA
Political Research Quarterly 66(1): 198–204

Radaelli, C.M. and C. Wagemann (2019)
What did I leave out? Omitted variables in regression and qualitative comparative analysis
European Political Science, 18(2): 275-290

Schneider, C.Q. (2018)
Realists and Idealists in QCA
Political Analysis, 26(2): 246–254

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012)
Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis pp. 151–177 (limited diversity and Standard Analysis), 284–294 (robustness)
New York: Cambridge University Press

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2013)
Doing Justice to Logical Remainders in QCA: Moving Beyond the Standard Analysis
Political Research Quarterly 66(1): 211–220

Oana, I.E., Schneider, C.Q. and E. Thomann (forthcoming)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, chapters 7–8

Software Requirements

R and Rstudio (freeware; latest versions)
Web browser: Google chrome as standard browser

Hardware Requirements

You can bring your own laptop – Mac and PC are ok. Please install Google Chrome as your standard web browser before the first session.

Computers will be provided for the lab sessions.

Literature

Duşa, A. (2018)
QCA with R: A Comprehensive Resource
New York: Springer International Publishing

Mello, P.A.  (forthcoming)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Research Design and Application
Washington DC: Georgetown University Press

Oana, I.E., Schneider, C.Q. and E. Thomann (forthcoming)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Ragin, C. C. (2000)
Fuzzy-set social science
Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press

Ragin, C. C. (2009)
Redesigning social inquiry: Fuzzy sets and beyond
Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Rihoux, B. and C.C. Ragin
Configurational Comparative Methods. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage Publications

Schneider, C.Q. and C. Wagemann (2012)
Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis
New York: Cambridge University Press

Thomann, E. (2018)
Customized implementation of European Union food safety policy: United in diversity?
Palgrave Macmillan, International Series on Public Policy

Thomann, E. Oana, E. and S. Wittwer (2018)
Performing fuzzy- and crisp set QCA with R: A user-oriented beginner’s guide

Recommended Courses to Cover Before this One

<p><strong>Summer School</strong></p> <p>R Basics<br /> Multi-Method Research: Techniques and Applications<br /> Case Study Research: Method and Practice<br /> Qualitative Data Analysis: Concepts and Approaches<br /> Knowing and the Known: The Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences<br /> Seasoned Scholars Workshop: Multi-Method Designs, Case-Oriented and Comparative Methods</p> <p><strong>Winter School</strong></p> <p>Foundations of Set-Theoretic and Case-Oriented&nbsp;Methods&nbsp;(required)<br /> Introduction to R (entry level)<br /> Working with Concepts in the Social Sciences<br /> Comparative Research Design</p>

Recommended Courses to Cover After this One

<p><strong>Summer School</strong></p> <p>Process Tracing Methodology I and II<br /> Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Fuzzy Sets (week 2)<br /> Intermediate R: Capacities for Analysis and Visualisation</p> <p><strong>Winter School</strong></p> <p>Process Tracing Methods<br /> Advanced Topics in Set-Theoretic Methods and QCA<br /> Analysing Political and Social Sequences</p>


Additional Information

Disclaimer

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 in due time.

Note from the Academic Convenors

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, contact the instructor before registering.