An Introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as a Set-Theoretic and Case-Oriented Approach to Comparative Research

Social Sciences
Tuesday 1st (00:00) - Friday 4th November 2016 (00:00)
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Enquiries: Dr Eszter Simon

Booking has now closed.

Markus B. Siewert (Goethe University Frankfurt)

This workshop offers a comprehensive and application-oriented introduction into Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in its main variants of crisp-set and fuzzy-set QCA. We will focus on both aspects of a) research design or QCA as an approach to study social phenomena as well as b) application or QCA as a technique of analysis. The workshop starts from basic notions of QCA and its core underpinnings of set-theory, configurational thinking, diversity- and case-orientation. In a next step, we further elaborate on the idea of sets in order to operationalize concepts (aka calibration) and discuss different strategies for constructing sets from various forms of data. Following this, we will go through the main analytical sequences of a QCA, i.e. checking for necessary and sufficient (combinations of) conditions, and interpreting the results. In doing so, we will highlight common pitfalls during an analysis, discuss strategies how to deal with them based on both methodological advices and best practices, and lastly summarize some core guidelines for applying QCA. A last segment of the course will concentrate on advanced topics and approaches in QCA such as temporal aspects, counterfactual reasoning, or combining QCA with other approaches. The workshop will be complemented by practical elements and software exercises.

Recommended books on the QCA method.

  • Schneider, Carsten Q. and Claudius Wagemann. 2012. Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Up-to-date user-oriented introduction to QCA covering all relevant aspects of the approach and method)
  • Goertz, Gary and James Mahoney. 2012. A Tale of Two Cultures: Quantitative and Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences. Princeton: Princeton University Press. (Easy-readable overview how set-theoretical thinking differs from statistical reasoning across various aspects)

Course materials will be shared via a Dropbox folder. You will be asked to provide your email address associated with your Dropbox account to enable an invitation to be sent to you to join the folder.

Please note that lunch is not provided.

In addition to the 4-day training, the ICCS is hosting a seminar on Monday 31st October:
Set-Theoretic Thinking in the Social Sciences – Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in a Nutshell
Dr Markus B Siewert (Goethe University Frankfurt)

The seminar is free and open for staff and PhD students of the School of Government and Society at UoB.

Tuesday, 01 November 2016

Workshop programme - Tuesday 01 November 2016
09.00 – 11.00 Introduction to Set-Theoretical Thinking
11.15 – 12.15 Sets and Calibration Strategies
14.00 – 15.00 Software Session I: Calibrating Sets
15.30 – 17.30 Analysing Necessary and Sufficient Conditions; Part I:
Truth Table Construction and Minimization

Wednesday, 02 November 2016

Workshop programme - Wednesday, 02 November 2016
09.00 – 09.30 Recap
09.30 – 11.00 Analysing Necessary and Sufficient Conditions; Part II:
Parameters of Fit and Limited Diversity
11.15 – 12.15 Software Session II: Analysing Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
The Standard Protocol
14.00 – 15.30 Analysing Necessary and Sufficient Conditions; Part III:
Advanced Strategies
16.00 – 17.00 Software Session III: Advanced Analysis of Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
17.00 – 17.30 Q & A

Thursday, 03 November 2016

Workshop programme - Thursday 03 November 2016
09.00 – 11.00 Replication and In-Depth Discussion
11.15 – 12.15 Different QCA Designs and Standards of Good Practice in QCA
14.00 – 16.00 Applying the QCA method to own research – project consultation 1: Peace Processes
16.30 – 17.30 Individual consultation

Friday, 04 November 2016

Workshop programme - Friday 04 November 2016
09.00 – 11.00 Applying the QCA method to own research – project consultation 2: Face-to-Face Diplomacy
11.30 – 12.30 Individual consultation
14.00 – 16.00  Applying the QCA method to own research – project consultation 3: Decentralization as Peace-Building Strategy
16.30 – 17.30 Individual consultation

Enquiries: Dr Eszter Simon

Booking has now closed.