Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Process Tracing

Monday 12 March (09:00) - Wednesday 14 March 2018 (16:30)

If you are interested in participating in this workshop please email Lauren Rawlins


WORKSHOP LEADERS – Dr Markus B. Siewert, IAS Vanguard Fellow, and Dr Giuditta Fontana, School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham

Qualitative-empirical research approaches have experienced major innovations over the last two decades (Goertz and Mahoney 2012; Mahoney 2010) with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (Ragin 2008; Ragin and Rihoux 2009; Schneider and Wagemann 2012) and Process Tracing (Beach and Pedersen 2013, 2016; Bennett and Checkel 2014) being probably the most prominent advancements. Belonging to the family of case-oriented research, both approaches share certain ontological and epistemological assumptions drawing on set-theoretic thinking focusing on different levels of analysis. While QCA is an instrument to identify necessary and/or sufficiency-relations through systematic cross-case comparison, Process Tracing aims to (re)construct the causal mechanisms and its elementary parts linking an outcome and its underlying causes at the within-case level. Used as stand-alone techniques - or in their combination - both methods offer cutting-edge advancements and new analytic perspective for a variety of questions and applications in many fields of the social sciences - e.g., political science, sociology, evaluation studies, business and administration, health, etc.

Participants will gain profound knowledge of QCA and Process Tracing as innovative tools for their own research.

Rigorous methods training will enhance the participant’s own research. The workshop will offer space to discuss key analytic pitfalls when applying QCA and Process Tracing in their own research.

The gained methodological insights will help researcher to develop innovative research designs, e.g., in the context of grant applications.