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Summer School in Social Research Methods: Introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

June 20, 2022 - June 24, 2022

€431 – €575

This course introduces students to the nuts and bolts of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), an innovative set-theoretic technique that allows for comparisons of small, intermediate or large numbers of cases in order to identify necessary and/or sufficient conditions for an outcome. It is an attractive method for scholars who seek to model causally complex patterns and integrate in-depth case knowledge at all stages of the analysis. We will introduce you to performing QCA with the freely available R software using the user-friendly RStudio environment. We will primarily discuss QCA as a case-oriented approach to small- and intermediate N comparisons. The intensive five-day course has a practical focus and combines theoretical blocks with many hands-on exercises and quizes. We will use real-life data to replicate a published study and discuss examples from the participants’ own research projects in class. The course covers the following topics:

  • QCA: Origin, variants, uses and approaches
  • Set theory and causal complexity
  • Defining, structuring, measuring and calibrating concepts as sets
  • Analyses of necessity and sufficiency
  • Truth tables, limited diversity and counterfactual reasoning
  • Conservative, intermediate and parsimonious solution types
  • Set-theoretic multi-method research
  • Potential pitfalls (skewed data, model ambiguities)

This course is offered as part of the Summer School in Social Research Methods which is developed and coordinated by MethodsNET in collaboration with the Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. MethodsNET is a global methods excellence network that offers world class training in social research methods, through its top instructors from renowned universities worldwide. This course of the Summer School in Social Research Methods has a unique approach: the morning is fully dedicated to the course topics mentioned in the course description. In the afternoon, you can choose to take part in a rich set of extra optional training activities to broaden or deepen your skills and knowledge.


June 20, 2022
June 24, 2022
€431 – €575
Event Category:


Eva Thomann (University of Konstanz)


Radboud University
Houtlaan 4
Nijmegen, 6525 XZ Netherlands
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Comparative Methods for Systematic Cross-Case Analysis