New Book: Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application

Patrick A. Mello (Technical University of Munich) has published Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application (Georgetown University Press, 2021).

Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application is a comprehensive guide to QCA. As QCA becomes increasingly popular across the social sciences, this textbook teaches students, scholars, and self-learners the fundamentals of the method, research design, interpretation of results, and how to communicate findings.

Following an ideal typical research cycle, the book’s ten chapters cover the methodological basis and analytical routine of QCA, as well as matters of research design, causation and causal complexity, QCA variants, and the method’s reception in the social sciences. A comprehensive glossary helps to clarify the meaning of frequently used terms. The book is complemented by an accessible online R manual to help new users to practice QCA’s analytical steps on sample data and then implement with their own findings. This hands-on textbook is an essential resource for students and researchers looking for a complete and up-to-date introduction to QCA.

New Book: Qualitative Comparative Analysis with R: A Beginner’s Guide

Ioana-Elena Oana (European University Institute), Carsten Q. Schneider (Central European University), and Eva Thomann (Universität Konstanz) have released Qualitative Comparative Analysis with R: A Beginner’s Guide (Cambridge University Press 2021).

A comprehensive introduction and teaching resource for state-of-the-art Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R software. This guide facilitates the efficient teaching, independent learning, and use of QCA with the best available software, reducing the time and effort required when encountering not just the logic of a new method, but also new software. With its applied and practical focus, the book offers a genuinely simple and intuitive resource for implementing the most complete protocol of QCA. To make the lives of students, teachers, researchers, and practitioners as easy as possible, the book includes learning goals, core points, empirical examples, and tips for good practices. The freely available online material provides a rich body of additional resources to aid users in their learning process. Beyond performing core analyses with the R package QCA, the book also facilitates a close integration with the R package SetMethods allowing for a host of additional protocols for building a more solid and well-rounded QCA.

Cover image of Oana, Schneider, and Thomann (2021)

New Working Paper

“Analyzing Relations of Necessity in Survey Research: Incorporating Notions of Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Bootstrap” by Daisuke Mori of Kumamoto University.

Correlation coefficients often used in quantitative research, such as survey research, cannot adequately measure certain key aspects within the relation of necessity. In this paper, I focus on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), enabling the analysis of set relations or relations of necessity and sufficiency, and try to incorporate it into the analysis of survey research. I present the parameters of fit in a fuzzy-set QCA to measure such a relation. I also show the methods used to conduct statistical inferences to understand the properties of a population based on a random sample from that population. For example, I analyzed the survey data on the purpose of tort damages in the case of a defective car accident in Japan. In this survey, respondents were asked about the extent to which they considered five factors in deciding the amount of damages: compensation for monetary loss, punishment, compensation for mental suffering, deterrence, and satisfying the feeling of retribution. I found that compensation for monetary loss is not correlated with punishment, deterrence, and satisfying the feeling of retribution. However, compensation for monetary loss is a necessary condition. The analysis of relations of necessity can highlight relations that have not been detected by conventional statistical analysis based on correlations.

Special Issue of Quality & Quantity on QCA and Causation

A special issue of Quality & Quantity focusing on “Causation, inferences, and solution types in configurational comparative methods,” co-edited by Tim Haesebrouck (Ghent University) and Eva Thomann (University of Konstanz), is now available on-line. An introduction to the issue is provided below, along with the direct links to the articles, which are available in the COMPASSS bibliography.

Continue reading Special Issue of Quality & Quantity on QCA and Causation

5th International QCA Paper Development Workshop: CfA

The 5th International QCA Paper Development Workshop will be a hybrid event held in Zurich and online, December 13 (and possibly the 14 as well). The call for abstracts is now available.

The PDW offers researchers embarking on QCA projects a venue to meet QCA experts, get feedback on their on-going research, and learn about the latest methodological developments in QCA. For more information, see the International QCA Workshops website.

New Monograph By Luca Manucci

Luca Manucci (University of Lisbon, Portugal) has published Populism and Collective Memory: Comparing Fascist Legacies in Western Europe (2020, Routledge), which uses fsQCA to test the impact of collective memories on the social acceptability of populist discourses across Europe since the 1970s.

Right-wing populism is a global phenomenon that challenges several pillars of liberal democracy, and it is often described as a dangerous political ideology because it resonates with the fascist idea of power in terms of anti-pluralism and lack of minorities’ protection. In Western Europe, many political actors are exploiting the fears and insecurities linked to globalization, economic crisis, and mass migrations to attract voters. However, while right-wing populist discourses are mainstream in certain countries, they are almost completely taboo in others. Why is right-wing populism so successful in Italy, Austria, and France while in Germany it is marginal and socially unacceptable? It is because each country developed a certain collective memory of the fascist past, which stigmatizes that past to different levels. For this reason, right-wing populism can find favorable conditions to thrive in certain countries, while in others it is considered as an illegitimate and dangerous idea of power. Through a comparative study of eight European countries, this book shows that short-term factors linked to levels of corruption, economic situation, and quality of democracy interact with long-term cultural elements and collective memories in determining the social acceptability of right-wing populist discourses.

Comparative Methods for Systematic Cross-Case Analysis