Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Principles and Application

In this lecture we look at the principles of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and how it works in an applied example of internet shutdowns during elections in Sub-Saharan Africa (Freyburg and Garbe 2018). QCA, a set-theoretic method developed by the American Sociologist Charles Ragin in the 1980s, helps scholars to study causal complexity among cases and identify necessary and/or sufficient combinations of conditions for an outcome. It can be a useful tool to combine systematic case comparison with in-depth analysis of individual cases in theory-evaluating or more exploratory, nested research designs. We discuss the assumptions underlying the method and the kinds of research questions it can (not) address. The results of a systematic review of empirical QCA studies illustrate good practices as well as areas where applied QCA still lags behind the considerable methodological innovations of recent years.

DSPI Members will be sent a link to the session before start.

Not a DSPI Member? Register here.