Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

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  • Introduction, analytic foundations and the QCA research process
    • In week 1, we will discuss a) the nature and structure of the general research process in QCA, b) the analytic foundations of QCA, and c) the features of the general QCA research field.
  • Research design and calibration
    • Week 2 focuses on the design of a QCA study, particularly as regards a) the general orientation of such a study and b) the development of a research model with cases, conditions and an outcome. We will also discuss the so-called c) “calibration” process. With calibration, the researcher scores cases on conditions that might cause an outcome, and on the outcome itself.
  • The truth table
    • Week 3 is about the “truth table”, which indicates the relation between combinations of conditions on the one hand, and an outcome on the other. You will learn about a) the function of the truth table, b) how to make a truth table, and c) how the truth table may be changed by going back to the design and calibration phases.
  • Logical minimization and the interpretation of output
    • In week 4, we will discuss “logical minimization”, which amounts to a systematic comparison between cases. We will discuss a) the principles of the minimization process, b) different ways in which you can do the minimization process, and c) the interpretation of the results of the minimization process.
  • Using FsQCA, more about the interpretation of output, and the write-up
    • In week 5, it will be demonstrated how a) software can be used for making the truth table and performing logical minimization. We will also further discuss b) the interpretation of the results of logical minimization and c) the reporting of results of a QCA study in a scientifically sound manner.