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» Links

This page contains a non-exhaustive list of some useful links concerning the Comparative Methods.

Informal forums for discussing issues QCA-related research issues:

In political science and sociology, QUAL-COMPARE, managed by Wendy Olsen (University of Manchester)

In management and organization studies, QCA-NET, managed by Peer Fiss (University of Southern California)

Political Science

American Political Science Association: Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research
The American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research promotes research and training focused on the several branches of methodology associated with the qualitative tradition. The section organizes panels, roundtables, and short courses at APSA's annual meeting, and publishes the semi-annual Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Newsletter.

European Consortium for Political Research: Standing Group on Political Methodology
The Standing Group is meant to provide a venue for methodological discussions among European political scientists and interested scholars and students from adjoining disciplines. Its objectives are threefold, and inter-related: to spread information about new tools and approaches to studying political phenomena; to promote and facilitate cooperation on various methodological issues, broadly defined; and to provide an organisational basis for supporting new initiatives in political methodology. Its view of methodology is broad and encompassing and it is its intent to encourage dialogue among different sub-groups of the discipline on important (and common) methodological concerns. In doing so, the aim is to encourage discussion about methods and methodologies that are common to a broad swatch of social science. While the primary focus is on political issues, links with similar organisations in tangential fields are encouraged.

International Political Science Association: Committee on Concepts and Methods
The Committee on Concepts and Methods (C&M) is a Research Committee of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). Founded by Giovanni Sartori and friends, it was the first research committee recognized by IPSA in 1970. C&M remains one of the most active IPSA Research Committees, and is currently sponsored by CIDE in Mexico City and the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. C&M promotes conceptual and methodological discussion in political science. It provides a forum of debate for adherents of methodological schools who otherwise tend to conduct their deliberations at separate tables.

Sociology

American Sociological Association: Comparative and Historical Sociology Section
The purpose of the Comparative and Historical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association is to promote sociological research and teaching on cross-national variation and the temporal dimensions of social life. Section members are distinguished by their range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. The themes of investigation addressed by section members are likewise manifold, including such issues as revolution, the welfare state, state formation, aspects of culture, law and social control, and political economy.

American Sociological Association: Methodology Section
The purpose of the Section on Methodology is to foster the development of this aspect of sociology through the organized interchange of ideas and research results. The term methodology shall be interpreted in its broadest sense to include the development of investigative techniques appropriate to any branch of sociology, of statistical and experimental procedures, and of mathematics, data processing, and such other interests as may be useful in sociological research.

European Sociological Association: Research Network for Qualitative Methods

European Sociological Association: Research Network for Quantitative Methods
The aim of RN 21 is to encourage and enhance rigorous empirical sociological research using quantitative and mixed methods in Europe. We promote the use of all varieties of quantitative and mixed methods, including survey research, experimental methods, causal inference, simulation, statistical techniques, comparative methods, and others.

International Sociological Association: Research Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis
Scientific meetings of the Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (COCTA) are held during Congresses of the ISA, and at other times. COCTA participates in other modes of exchange, such as the Internet e-mail discussion group COCTA-L. It also maintains special scientific exchanges and joint programs with research committees of the same name within the International Political Sciences Association and within the International Social Science Council.

International Sociological Association: Research Committee on Logic and Methodology
The objective of the Research Committee on Logic and Methodology is to develop professional contacts between sociologists interested in logic and methodology in sociology; to encourage the worldwide exchange of research findings and theoretical developments; to promote international meetings and research collaboration in the field of logic and methodology in sociology.

This page in German provides some interesting working papers of QCA applications in the field of political economy (most of them are in English).

This page in Finnish provides a short introduction to QCA with a reference to a working paper based on Finnish data available in English.

This page in Japanese, provides pratical information for QCA users: a summary good practices, a glossary of the key terms, and a review of texbooks and software packages.

APES (Actor Process Event Scheme)
APES has been developed by Uwe Serdült, Chantal Vögeli, Christian Hirschi and Thomas Widmer. This is a web-based software tool allowing the use of qualitative case study data for a systematic comparative assessment of policy processes. Focusing on the actors' participation in decision-making processes, the description of a policy process can be visualized with APES. By defining the participating actors as well as all relevant events of the decision-making process, the user gets the possibility to generate with APES a graphical representation of qualitative case study data, which allows the comparison over different cases.

AQUAD Six
AQUAD has been developed by G. L. Huber (University of Tübingen, Germany). It features many qualitative analysis procedures, and also allows one to treat cases/texts by Boolean analysis of critical features ("logical minimization").

Event Structure Analysis (ESA)
ESA is developed by David R. Heise (University of Indiana, Bloomington, USA). Event structure analysis is a qualitative methodology for understanding sequential events in a narrative. Prerequisite analysis focuses on how the events are connected logically. The program draws a chart showing the prerequisite structure. Composition analysis focuses on how the events link people and things. The program creates tables showing how people are associated with each other and with non-human entities.

Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA)
Developed by Jan Dul (Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL), NCA is an approach for identifying necessary conditions in data sets. It can complement traditional regression-based data analysis as well as methods like QCA.

Steve Borgatti's qualitative research methods course homepage
It consists of Content Analysis, Ethnographic Methods, Cultural Domain Analysis, with many other features


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