ECPR Joint Sessions
University of Nottingham, Nottingham
25 - 30 April 2017

Configurational Thinking in Political Science: Theory, Methodology, and Empirical Application

Political theory

Workshop Director
Markus Siewert
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Workshop Co-Director
Joachim Blatter
University of Lucerne

26/04/2017 09:00
Building: Dearing Building Room: Room B40
Configurational approaches such as typologies and typological theories, process tracing, Comparative Historical Analysis or Qualitative Comparative Analysis have experienced increasing scholarly interest within political science over the last two decades. Deeply rooted in a case-oriented research tradition, these approaches share an understanding of the social world which essentially revolves around the ideas of the interconnectedness of simultaneous or sequential explanatory factors as well as patterns of diversity (e.g. equi- and multifinality, asymmetry, context and contingency). As such, configurational thinking clearly differs from standard quantitative perspectives offering an alternative perspective on social phenomena.

We address the issue of configurational thinking in political science from three angles. (1.) With respect to theory, we take up the call by Hall, Ragin and others asking how we can align theories and methodology with configurational thinking. (2.) On methodological grounds, we strive for further advancements of our social sciences toolkit, both regarding specific configurational approaches and multi-method research. (3.) Regarding empirical applications, we are interested in studies either related to methodology via applying configurational methods in innovative ways, and/or related to theory by demonstrating the added value of configurational thinking.

The proposed workshop wants to serve as a forum for theorists, methodologists, and application-oriented researchers interested in configurational thinking and techniques from various political science (sub)fields. By doing so, it centrally aims at assessing the state-of-the-art of configuration approaches and delineating an agenda for future research.

Paper List

Are Differences-of-Degree Compatible with Set-Theoretical Thinking? View Paper Details
Belief Configurations, Reasoning Processes, and Political Activism. A Multi-method Analysis View Paper Details
Causal Modeling with Multi-Value and Fuzzy-Set Coincidence Analysis View Paper Details
Convincing Explanations with QCA. The Contribution of "Essential" Configurational Models View Paper Details
Designing Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Approaches, Challenges, Tools View Paper Details
Locating Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), Set-Theoretic Methods (STMs) and Configurational Comparative Methods (CCMs) in the Methodological Logical Space: A First Systematic Attempt View Paper Details
Mapping Configurational Methods in the Social Sciences View Paper Details
Parsimony and Coherence Validity- and Reliability in Two Functionally Coherent Configurational Comparative Analysis (CCA)-Subtypes View Paper Details
Redesigning Conceptual Aggregation in Set Theoretic Methods: Fuzzy Multiple Attribute Conditions in fsQCA View Paper Details
Routes to Reform. Civil-Military Relations and Democracy in the Third Wave View Paper Details
Small Farms; Big Hunger? Rural – Urban Contradictions in Developing Countries View Paper Details
Surviving EU-related Referendums: When Governments Fail or Succeed View Paper Details
The Role of Parental Family Resources in Intergenerational Transmission of Higher Education: Set-analytic Approach View Paper Details
The Use of Set-Theoretic Methods in Democratization Research View Paper Details
What Makes Conditions Important in QCA? View Paper Details
Which Mechanisms can be Found in the Advocacy Coalition Framework? Theoretical Deduction of Causal Configurations for German Copyright Policy View Paper Details
Who Follows Whom? A Coincidence Analysis of Military Deployment Decisions, Public Opinion, Domestic Institutions and External Threats View Paper Details
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"History is past politics, and politics is past history" - E.A. Freeman

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