08 Jan

Summer School in Social Science Methods, Lugano 2021

Qualitative Comparative Analysis at the 25th Summer School in Social Science Methods, 2021

The workshop program was announced for the 25th Summer School in Social Science Methods, organized by the Swiss Foundation for Social Science Research (FORS) and the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI). The school is hosted at USI in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland.

For the third time, I am offering a one-week intensive course on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) at the Swiss Summer School. The course runs from August 23-27, 2021.

The course is based on my forthcoming QCA textbook Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Research Design and Application (Georgetown University Press).

Course registration will open at the end of January/early February 2021. The opening will be announced through the summer school’s newsletter (sign-up on the registration page).

Workshop contents

This workshop gives a thorough introduction to the method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), with an emphasis on research design and practical application. Since its inception (Ragin 1987), QCA has gained recognition among social scientists as a case-based research method that is ideally suited to capture causal complexity. This essentially describes a situation where an outcome results from multiple pathways and different combinations of conditions. Moreover, QCA entails a rigorous and systematic comparison of selected cases and their configurations through Boolean logic and a software-based analytical protocol.

Throughout this workshop, participants will be introduced to the building blocks of QCA, while the course structure follows an ideal-typical research process. The introduction opens with empirical illustrations to show how and for what purposes QCA is being used, before summarizing the method’s key characteristics. This is followed by sessions on causation, causal complexity, and research design, to provide a foundation for thinking about empirical applications. The ensuing sessions engage with the use of QCA as an analytical approach, starting with set theory and concepts like necessary and sufficient conditions, Boolean algebra, truth tables, and fuzzy sets. In calibrating sets, we look into approaches to transform empirical raw data into crisp and fuzzy sets. Next, the course examines various measures of fit that help in evaluating QCA results. The session on set-theoretic analysis puts all of the elements together and shows how empirical data is analyzed and interpreted with QCA. Finally, the workshop closes with sessions on advanced topics, which can be tailored based on participants’ background and research interests. Potential topics include multi-method research design, QCA variants, addressing critiques, and recent developments. The workshop sessions are complemented by illustrations and exercises, using the R Software environment and relevant R Packages.

07 Jan

BJPIR Most Cited Article

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) highlights our article “Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence” (with Dirk Peters, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) as the most cited article in this journal in the last 3 years (as of January 7, 2021). Notably, 5 of the 10 most cited articles stem from our special issue on parliaments and security policy. Thanks to all our contributors for turning this collective project into such a success!

Abstract: While parliaments have long been neglected actors in the analysis of security policy, a research literature on the subject is growing. Current research is focused primarily on how parliaments, relying on formal legal competences, can constrain governmental policies. However, this research needs expansion in three areas. First, informal sources of parliamentary influence on security policy deserve more systematic attention as the significance of parliaments often hinges on contextual factors and individual decision-makers. Second, we still lack a systematic understanding of the effects of parliamentary involvement on security policy. Finally, the role of parliaments for the politics of security is almost completely uncharted territory. When parliaments become involved in security policy, does it foster transparency and contribute to the politicisation of security policy so that security policy becomes a ‘normal’ political issue? The article reviews current research, derives findings from the contributions to this Special Issue, and spells out their wider implications.

Introduction to the special issue:

Mello, Patrick A., and Dirk Peters (2018) ‘Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745684.

Contributing articles:

Strong, James (2018) ‘The War Powers of the British Parliament: What Has Been Established and What Remains Unclear?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745767.

Kaarbo, Juliet (2018) ‘Prime Minister Leadership Style and the Role of Parliament in Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745679.

Kriner, Douglas L. (2018) ‘Congress, Public Opinion, and an Informal Constraint on the Commander-in-Chief’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745860.

Rosén, Guri, and Kolja Raube (2018) ‘Influence Beyond Formal Powers: The Parliamentarisation of European Union Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117747105.

Schade, Daniel (2018) ‘Limiting or Liberating? The Influence of Parliaments on Military Deployments in Multinational Settings’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117746918.

Oktay, Sibel (2018) ‘Chamber of Opportunities: Legislative Politics and Coalition Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745680.

Wagner, Wolfgang (2018) ‘Is There a Parliamentary Peace? Parliamentary Veto Power and Military Interventions from Kosovo to Daesh’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745859.

Lagassé, Philippe, and Patrick A. Mello (2018) ‘The Unintended Consequences of Parliamentary Involvement: Elite Collusion and Afghanistan Deployments in Canada and Germany’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745681.

Raunio, Tapio (2018) ‘Parliament as an Arena for Politicization: The Finnish Eduskunta and Crisis Management Operations’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745682.

Hegemann, Hendrik (2018) ‘Towards ‘Normal’ Politics? Security, Parliaments and the Politicisation of Intelligence Oversight in the German Bundestag’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745683.

06 Jan

Open Access FPA Article

Open Access Funding Approved

Our recent Foreign Policy Analysis article “Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy” (with Tim Haesebrouck, Ghent University) has been turned into Gold Open Access by Oxford University Press. The PDF can now be freely accessed. We thank the University of Erfurt for approving our funding application.

Abstract: Recent studies on political ideology suggest the existence of partisan divides on matters of foreign and security policy – challenging the notion that “politics stops at the water’s edge”. However, when taken as a whole, extant work provides decidedly mixed evidence of party-political differences outside domestic politics. This article first conducts a systematic empirical analysis of the relationship between parties’ left-right positions and their general attitude towards peace and security missions, which suggests that right-leaning parties tend to be more supportive of military operations. Yet, the results also show that the empirical pattern is curvilinear: centrist and center-right parties witness the highest level of support for military missions, while parties on both ends of the political spectrum show substantially less support. The second part of our analysis examines whether the stronger support of rightist parties for peace and security missions translates into a greater inclination of right-wing governments to actually deploy forces to military operations. Strikingly, our results suggest that leftist governments were actually more inclined to participate in operations than their right-leaning counterparts. The greater willingness of left-wing executives to deploy military forces is the result of their greater inclination to participate in operations with inclusive goals.

22 Dec

Leadership Traits and Political Beliefs in German Foreign Policy

Book review published in German Politics

On December 21, 2020, German Politics (Taylor & Francis) published my book review of Entscheidungsträger in der deutschen Außenpolitik: Führungseigenschaften und politische Überzeugungen der Bundeskanzler und Außenminister (Nomos) by Christian Rabini, Katharina Dimmroth, Klaus Brummer, and Mischa Hansel.

From the review: “In sum, this book offers a compelling account of German leaders and their foreign policies, based on meticulous research and a systematic application of leadership profiling. The book’s methods should stimulate wide application in the field of foreign policy analysis, and beyond.”

26 Sep

Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy

Article published in Foreign Policy Analysis

The October 2020 issue of Foreign Policy Analysis (Oxford University Press) includes the article “Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy” by Tim Haesebrouck and me. In the article, we examine the relationship between the ideology of political parties and their general support for military missions.

Empirically, the study confirms a curvilinear relationship: with support peaking among center-right parties and dropping the further one moves to the far-left and far-right. However, when looking at actual military participation the pattern is different. Here, left-of-center parties have deployed to military missions more often than their rightist counterparts.

Founded in 2005, Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) aims to serve “as a source for efforts at theoretical and methodological integration and deepening the conceptual debates throughout this rich and complex research tradition”. The journal is published by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the International Studies Association (ISA).

Abstract: Recent studies on political ideology suggest the existence of partisan divides on matters of foreign and security policy – challenging the notion that “politics stops at the water’s edge”. However, when taken as a whole, extant work provides decidedly mixed evidence of party-political differences outside domestic politics. This article first conducts a systematic empirical analysis of the relationship between parties’ left-right positions and their general attitude towards peace and security missions, which suggests that right-leaning parties tend to be more supportive of military operations. Yet, the results also show that the empirical pattern is curvilinear: centrist and center-right parties witness the highest level of support for military missions, while parties on both ends of the political spectrum show substantially less support. The second part of our analysis examines whether the stronger support of rightist parties for peace and security missions translates into a greater inclination of right-wing governments to actually deploy forces to military operations. Strikingly, our results suggest that leftist governments were actually more inclined to participate in operations than their right-leaning counterparts. The greater willingness of left-wing executives to deploy military forces is the result of their greater inclination to participate in operations with inclusive goals.

18 Mar

Democracies and Withdrawal from Iraq

Open Access Article Published in EJIS

The February 2020 issue (5:1) of the European Journal of International Security (Cambridge University Press) features the article “Paths towards Coalition Defection: Democracies and Withdrawal from the Iraq War“. The study examines democratic war involvement in Iraq across 51 leaders from 29 countries. The article is the first QCA study that covers the entire period of coalition operations in Iraq, from 2003 until 2010, across all democratic governments that were involved in the multinational coalition.

Among other findings, the article challenges some previous studies’ results on the effects of leadership turnover and electoral incentives (here and here). The set-theoretic analysis documents causal heterogeneity, where multiple paths lead towards coalition defection and leadership turnover only brought about the outcome of coalition withdrawal when combined with specific other conditions. For electoral incentives, contrary to expectations derived from prior studies, it could not be shown that upcoming elections were associated with coalition defection. Finally, the article documents the importance of casualties and prior commitment as factors that had previously been neglected. Replication data is hosted a Harvard Dataverse (R script, data, supplement).

Abstract: Despite widespread public opposition to the Iraq War, numerous democracies joined the US-led multinational force. However, while some stayed until the end of coalition operations, and several increased their deployments over time, others left unilaterally. How to explain this variation?

While some studies suggest that democratic defection from security commitments is primarily motivated by electoral incentives or leadership change, scholars have not reached a consensus on this issue. To account for the complex interplay between causal factors, this article develops an integrative theoretical framework, using fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) on original data on the Iraq War involvement of 51 leaders from 29 democracies.

The findings document the existence of multiple paths towards coalition defection. Among others, the results show that: (1) leadership change led to early withdrawal only when combined with leftist partisanship and the absence of upcoming elections; (2) casualties and coalition commitment played a larger role than previously assumed; and (3) coalition defection often occurred under the same leaders who had made the initial decision to deploy to Iraq, and who did not face elections when they made their withdrawal announcements.

Reference:

Mello, Patrick A. (2020) Paths towards Coalition Defection: Democracies and Withdrawal from the Iraq War, European Journal of International Security 5 (1): 45-76 (https://doi.org/10.1017/eis.2019.10)

21 Feb

Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik

Sammelband der DVPW-Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik

In der  bei Nomos erscheinenden Buchreihe “Außenpolitik und Internationale Ordnung” (Herausgeber: Hanns W. Maull und Sebastian Harnisch) ist der von Klaus Brummer und Friedrich Kießling herausgegebene Sammelband Zivilmacht Bundesrepublik? Bundesdeutsche außenpolitische Rollen vor und nach 1989 aus politik- und geschichtswissenschaftlichen Perspektiven erschienen.

Die Publikation ist der dritte bisher erschienene Sammelband in der “Edition Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik“. Weitere Bände sind Chinesische Seidenstraßeninitiative und amerikanische Gewichtsverlagerung (Hansel/Harnisch/Godehardt, Hrsg. 2018) sowie Sonderbeziehungen als Nexus zwischen Außenpolitik und internationalen Beziehungen (Harnisch/Brummer/Oppermann, Hrsg. 2015).

Weiterführende Informationen zur Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik gibt es auf der DVPW-Webseite. Dort ist auch die Anmeldung zur Mailingliste der Themengruppe möglich. Der Twitter-Account ist @dvpw_aussenpol.

Mein Kapitel “Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik” (PDF) untersucht für den Zeitraum 1990 bis 2018  parlamentarische Debatten zu 40 Auslandseinsätzen der Bundeswehr im Hinblick auf deren Resonanz mit dem rollentheoretischen Konzept der “Zivilmacht”. Die quantitative Textanalyse zeigt im Zeitverlauf eine deutliche Abnahme der Verwendung zivilmachtstheoretischer Rhetorik:

“Während die Debatten Anfang der 1990er Jahre noch von einer hohen Resonanz mit dem Zivilmachtkonzept geprägt waren, so zeigt sich seither eine kontinuierliche Abnahme. Dies kann als Anzeichen für einen „Wandel“ in der deutschen Außenpolitik und ihrer politischen Rechtfertigung gesehen werden. Zweitens konnte die Analyse Unterschiede zwischen den Einsatztypen identifizieren. So zeigen die Plenardebatten zu NATO-Einsätzen eine höhere Übereinstimmung mit dem Zivilmachtkonzept auf als UN- oder EU-Missionen. Statistisch signifikant sind dabei die Zivilmacht-Werte der Debatten zu EU-Einsätzen, welche im Vergleich zur Gesamtheit der untersuchten Plenardebatten erheblich niedriger liegen” (Mello 2019: 310).

27 Jan

QCA Workshop, Universität Göttingen

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

Am 24. Januar 2020 habe ich am Institut für Soziologie der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen einen eintägigen Workshop zu Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) gehalten.  Der Workshop für Master-Studierende fand im Rahmen der Veranstaltung “Methoden des Vergleichs” von Prof. Dr. Matthias Koenig statt.

Neben einer Erörterung der Grundlagen der Methode und der Anforderungen komparativer Forschungsdesigns beinhaltete der Workshop eine kompakte Einführung in die Software-Anwendung mit fsQCA und R.

Vielen Dank an Prof. Koenig für die Einladung nach Göttingen und an die Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer für den konstruktiven Workshop!

23 Dec

Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy

Article forthcoming in Foreign Policy Analysis

Foreign Policy Analysis (Oxford University Press) has accepted the article “Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy” (with Tim Haesebrouck) for publication.

A Pre-Print of the article is available here. Replication data will be made available on the Foreign Policy Analysis Dataverse upon publication of the article.

The article examines the relationship between the ideology of political parties and their general support for military missions. Empirically, the study confirm a curvilinear relationship: with support peaking among center-right parties and dropping the further one moves to the far-left and far-right. However, when looking at actual military participation the pattern is different. Here, left-of-center parties have deployed to military missions more often than their rightist counterparts.

Founded in 2005, Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) aims to serve “as a source for efforts at theoretical and methodological integration and deepening the conceptual debates throughout this rich and complex research tradition”. The journal is published by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the International Studies Association (ISA).

12 Dec

Vortrag an der TU Chemnitz

Parlamentarische Kontrolle und Streitkräfteinsätze

Am 12. Dezember 2019 habe ich am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Technischen Universität Chemnitz im Rahmen der Vorlesung “Einführung in die Außenpolitikanalyse” von Prof. Dr. Kai Oppermann einen Vortrag zum Thema “Parlamente in der Sicherheitspolitik: Erfüllungsgehilfen oder Vetospieler?” gehalten.

Der Vortrag bot einen Überblick über die jüngere Forschung zu parlamentarischen Kontrollrechten bei Streitkräfteneinsätzen (Mello & Peters 2017; 2018) sowie eine Erörterung der These des “parlamentarischen Friedens” (Dieterich et al. 2015; Wagner 2018). Zudem wurde die  Entwicklung einer neuen politischen Konvention parlamentarischer Beteiligung in Großbritannien anhand von Abstimmungen und Debatten zu Militäreinsätzen unter der Regierung Cameron (2010-2016) nachgezeichnet (Mello 2017). Zuletzt wurde die parlamentarische Beteiligung in Deutschland und Kanada während der Afghanistan-Einsätze verglichen, unter Berücksichtigung von öffentlicher Meinung und Medienberichterstattung (Lagassé & Mello 2018).

Informationen zu aktuellen Veranstaltungen der Professur Internationale Politik der TU Chemnitz finden sich hier. Vielen Dank für die Einladung nach Chemnitz!