Category Archives: News

Set Theory, Constructivism, and Science: A Symposium on James Mahoney’s The Logic of Social Science: Thursday, May 25, 2023

In this hybrid symposium, a panel of scholars discuss James Mahoney’s recent book, The Logic of Social Science.  The book develops a scientific constructivist approach that uses set-theoretic analysis to avoid essentialist biases in the production of knowledge. This scientific constructivist approach recognizes that social categories depend on collective understandings for their existence, but it insists that this recognition need not hinder the use of explicit procedures for the rational assessment of truth. Mahoney argues that set-theoretic analysis enables scholars to avoid the pitfalls of essentialism and produce findings that rest on a firm scientific foundation.

All speakers will participate online; you are invited to attend online or in person at Central European University, where the symposium will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Report on Time, Process and QCA

In Fall of 2022, Lasse Gerrits and Sofia Pagliarin, both of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, organized the first Time-in-QCA (TiQ) workshop. They have now produced a corresponding report of the workshop. More than just reviewing the workshop itself, this report is essential reading for anybody interested in longitudinal QCA: it summarizes existing conceptualizations of the relationships among time and QCA, provides a high-level overview of methodological techniques for incorporating time and process into QCA, and identifies avenues and areas for future exploration.

Report of the first ‘Time-in-QCA’ (TiQ) International Workshop

Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) Summer Course

Stefan Breet and Professor Jan Dul (the founder of Necessary Condition Analysis) are excited to announce a week-long summer course on Necessary Condition Analysis. The one-week summer course will take place from June 26, 2023 till June 30, 2023 at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. It is part of the 2nd Summer School in Social Research Methods organized by MethodsNet. For information or to sign up for the course visit Radboud Summer School website and fill out the application form.

Continue reading Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) Summer Course

Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) MOOC on Coursera

An online course about Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) is now available on the Coursera website for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The course is freely available for anyone who wants to learn about NCA. This beginners’ course includes 29 videos and is organized in 5 weeks:

  1. Introduction to NCA
  2. Setting up an NCA study
  3. Data analysis with NCA
  4. Reporting the results of NCA
  5. Advanced topics of NCA.

NCA can be used as a stand-alone method, in combination with regression-based methods, or in combination with QCA. The course can be accessed via the following link:

New Working Paper by Lauri and Saar

“Intergenerational Transmission of Education: Set-Theoretic Exploration of Accumulation of Social Advantages and Disadvantages in Six European Countries” by Triin Lauri (Tallinn University) and Ellu Saar (Tallinn University).

The aim of the paper is to investigate the patterns of multiple advantages and disadvantages of parental resources measured by educational attainment of both parents as well as parental cultural resources and their impact on the educational attainment of offspring across three cohorts in six European countries – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. We separate the examination of combined advantages from that of combined disadvantages to emphasise the asymmetries in these relationships by employing a novel configurational approach, set coincidence analysis introduced by Ragin and Fiss (2017). The analysis based on the International Assessment of Adult Competencies data (PIAAC) revealed substantial country differences in degrees of cumulative advantages and disadvantages of respondents’ parental resources and also in the linkages between these cumulative patterns and respondents’ educational attainment.

New YouTube Page

COMPASSS now has a YouTube page. Thanks to Sophia Pagliarin for spearheading this initiative! There are just two videos available now but we’d like to highlight talks by members of the COMPASSS community on QCA and related configurational-comparative methods. If you have a talk that you’d like us to host, please contact Claude.

Announcing the QCA Conference of the Americas (AQCA)

We are pleased to announce the launch of the annual QCA Conference of the Americas. Organized by Claude Rubinson (U Houston-Downtown), Peer Fiss (U Southern California) and Gary Goertz (Notre Dame), the inaugural meeting will be held April 6-8, 2022 at the University of Houston-Downtown. Charles Ragin (UC Irvine) and James Mahoney (Northwestern) will deliver the keynote addresses.

Responding to the growing interest in understanding causally complex phenomena in a configurational and comparative manner, AQCA will provide a venue for the broad, cross-disciplinary community of QCA empirical researchers and methodologists to gather together to present and receive feedback on current research projects, share theoretical and methodological developments, and discuss new directions in configurational-comparative research practices. AQCA offers a supportive environment for the diverse QCA community to meet, engage in dialogue, network, learn, and collectively move forward on advancing the configurational-comparative perspective.

AQCA will be a broad-tent, inclusive, and diverse venue that is open to everyone interested in learning about, using, and advancing the configurational-comparative perspective. Whatever your field or topic, if you use QCA and/or other configurational-comparative methods or if you are considering using them, then AQCA is for you. Whether your work is empirical, methodological, or theoretical; whether you are a seasoned practitioner or have just discovered the configurational-comparative approach, we hope that you will join us for three days of lively discussions, debates, community building, and learning.

We hope that you will join us in April. For more details and to review our call for abstracts (due date: January 31, 2022), please visit the AQCA website at