• Registration Opened for QCA Workshop at 28th Summer School in Lugano

    Registration has opened for the 28th Summer School in Social Science Methods at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. As in previous years (see impressions here), I am offering a week-long in-presence workshop on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), taking place August 19-23, 2024.

    Throughout the workshop, participants are introduced to the foundations and advanced functions of QCA, while the course structure follows an ideal-typical research process. Starting with empirical illustrations that show how and for what purposes QCA is being used in the social sciences, the workshop proceeds with presenting the method’s core characteristics. This is followed by sessions on causation, causal complexity, and research design, to provide a basis for thinking about empirical applications. The ensuing sessions engage with 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 sessions on set-theoretic analysis put all the elements together and show how empirical data is analyzed and interpreted with QCA. During the second half of the workshop we explore advanced topics, which can be tailored based on participants’ background and research interests. Potential topics include multi-method research design, QCA variants, robustness tests in QCA, addressing critiques, and recent developments. Participants also have the opportunity to present and discuss their own work within the group. The workshop sessions are complemented by illustrations and exercises from the social sciences, using the R Software environment and relevant R Packages. The workshop includes dedicated timeslots for individual consultation with the lecturer, group discussions, and networking opportunities. Further details can be found here.

  • Joining the Editorial Board of International Studies Quarterly

    I’m honored to have joined the editorial board of International Studies Quarterly (ISQ), under the new lead editors Sam R. Bell, Elena McLean, and Jeffrey Pickering, and their team of associate editors, who picked up the reigns of ISQ from former lead editors Brandon Prins and Krista Wiegand at the start of 2024. ISQ remains the flagship journal of the International Studies Association (ISA) and I look forward to participating in the editorial board meetings and to working with the new team.

  • QCA in Large-Scale Educational Assessment, Workshop at University of Oslo

    On January 18/19, I gave a workshop on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in Large-Scale Educational Assessment at the University of Oslo, Norway. The two-day workshop was organized by Associate Professor Nani Teig for members of the research group “Large-Scale Educational Assessment” (LEA) at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. Besides providing a thorough introduction to QCA and its application in R, based on my QCA book, the workshop further engaged with published QCA examples from the field of education, to explore the specific requirements of research designs based on LEA data. Many thanks to Nani Teig and her colleagues for the kind invitation to freezing cold but beautiful Oslo!

  • Japanese Edition of Qualitative Comparative Analysis Published

    In December 2023, Chikura Publishing issued a Japanese edition of Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application, originally published by Georgetown University Press in 2021. The book was translated by Professors Nobukazu Azuma of Aoyama Gakuin University and Narimasa Yokoyama of Hosei University. Many thanks to the people at Georgetown University Press and Chikura Publishing for facilitating and implementing this translation. It was a pleasure to meet with everyone during my stay in Tokyo in May 2023. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Nobukazu Azuma and Narimasa Yokoyama for their thorough and timely work on the translation!

    The book is available for orders on honto.jp, and amazon.co.jp, among others. More information about the book is available here (including open access online material). Japanese translations of the online material will also be made available through the publisher’s website.

  • YouTube Interview on the Zeitenwende in German Foreign Policy

    Against the backdrop of my recent Politics and Governance article “Zeitenwende: German Foreign Policy Change in the Wake of Russia’s War against Ukraine” I was interviewed for an episode of the Let’s Talk About podcast series by Cogitatio Press. The episode was moderated by Rodrigo Silva. The video is available on YouTube. The publisher’s website also features an audio version. In the interview I speak about the main findings of my research on German foreign policy, which indicate that the country has undergone an international orientation change, based on Chuck Hermann’s criteria for this classic concept of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA). That said, due to the ongoing and incomplete nature of the policy processes (and domestic decisions, including the recent constitutional ruling on the federal budget), it is uncertain whether the initiated changes will be permanently implemented.

  • Chapter in The Handbook of Teaching Qualitative and Mixed Research Methods

    I contributed a book chapter to The Handbook of Teaching Qualitative and Mixed Research Methods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Instructors, co-edited by Alissa Ruth, Amber Wutich, and H. Russell Bernard and recently published by Routledge. My chapter, entitled “Uncovering Causal Complexity with Qualitative Comparative Analysis” provides material for instructors to teach causal complexity and QCA usage through a combination of interactive lectures, homework materials, and in-class discussions. Overall, the Handbook presents a collection of 71 concise chapters on qualitative and mixed methods, covering diverse topics such as research ethics, sampling techniques for qualitative research, visual and participatory methods, linguistic analysis, network analysis, and six chapters on modeling and comparative analyses, which include my QCA chapter and, among others, a chapter on comparative ethnography by Raul Pacheco-Vega and a chapter on effective calibration practices by Claude Rubinson and Roel Rutten. The complete contents and further information on the Handbook can be found here.

  • QCA Paper Development and Expert Workshops in Antwerp

    On December 12-14, the QCA Paper Development Workshop and the QCA Expert Workshop took place in Antwerp at the Antwerp Management School (AMS), hosted by Bart Cambré (AMS) and Benoît Rihoux (UCLouvain) and the co-organizers of the Paper Development Workshop Julia Leib (Uni Leipzig), Christoph Niessen (Universiteit Leiden), and Christian Rupietta (Queen’s University Belfast). The workshops brought together a group of about 50 experts and practitioners from around the globe to discuss methodological innovations and empirical applications. Together with Benoît Rihoux, I co-chaired a paper development roundtable, where we discussed and commented upon four empirical applications.

  • Open Access Article Published in Politics and Governance

    Politics and Governance published the open access article “Zeitenwende: German Foreign Policy Change in the Wake of Russia’s War Against Ukraine” as an ahead-of-print. In the article, I examine the foreign and security policy of the German ‘traffic-light’ coalition under Chancellor Scholz to assess whether and to which extent the Russian aggression against Ukraine has marked an international orientation change in German foreign and security policy (see abstract below). The article is part of a forthcoming special issue “From Kabul to Kyiv: The Crisis of Liberal Interventionism and the Return of War”, co-edited by Cornelia Baciu (University of Copenhagen), Falk Ostermann (Kiel University), and Wolfgang Wagner (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and based on an authors’ workshop at the University of Copenhagen.

    Abstract: Russia’s war against Ukraine has severely damaged the European security architecture. This article examines the consequences of this rupture for German foreign and security policy. Just a few months before Russia’s full‐scale invasion of Ukraine, Germany saw the transition to an unprecedented three‐party coalition government of Social Democrats, Greens, and Liberals. In a special address to the Bundestag three days after the invasion, Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Russia’s war initiation as a historical Zeitenwende (“watershed”) that called into question long‐held beliefs about European security. In the wake of this, Scholz proclaimed far‐reaching changes, including the announcement that military expenditure would be drastically increased, additional military capabilities would be procured, and new deployments would be committed to NATO’s eastern flank. This article argues that the Zeitenwende amounts to an international orientation change in German foreign and security policy. Apart from identifying areas of significant change, the article also documents political contestation over the Zeitenwende’s nature and extent as well as gaps between proclaimed changes and actual implementation.

  • QCA-Workshop in Saarbrücken

    Am 12./13. Oktober habe ich an der Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken einen QCA-Workshop für das CEUS-Nachwuchskolleg am Cluster für Europaforschung gehalten. In dem kompakten zweitägigen Format wurden die Grundlagen von QCA auf Basis von Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application erörtert, Anwendungsbeispiele besprochen und die Anwendung der Software anhand des kürzlich aktualisierten R Manual for QCA vorgestellt. Herzlichen Dank an Prof. Dr. Georg Wenzelburger und das Team der Professur für Politikwissenschaft mit Schwerpunkt komparative Europaforschung sowie an Dr. Florian Rossbach, Koordinator des Nachwuchskollegs Europa, für die Einladung nach Saarbrücken und an alle Teilnehmenden für den konstruktiven Workshop!

  • R Manual for QCA, version 3.0

    The R Manual for QCA has been updated to version 3.0. Among other changes and updates, the current version includes further guidance on forming different types of intermediate solutions and on visualizing QCA results, particularly on how to create suitable XY plots and how to customize them in line with one’s own research aims. The R Manual for QCA (PDF file, R Script, and sample data) can be downloaded on this website and on Harvard Dataverse: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/KYF7VJ.

    The R Manual for QCA is freely available as an online appendix to Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application (Georgetown University Press, 2021).