23 July 2023
on course website
Qualitative Comparative Analysis with R
QCA is a research method that has gained currency across the social sciences. It aims to identify necessary and sufficient conditions for an outcome. A core strength of QCA is its ability to uncover “causal complexity”. This describes a situation where an outcome is reached through multiple pathways and different combinations of conditions.
Throughout this course, participants will be introduced to the foundations and advanced functions 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 in various areas of the social sciences, before summarizing the method’s key characteristics.
This is followed by concise sessions on causation, causal complexity, and research design, to provide a basis 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 sessions on set-theoretic analysis put all the elements together and show how empirical data is analyzed and interpreted with QCA. Towards the end of the workshop, we will look into 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.
Patrick A. Mello
EUR 750: Tuition fees one-week course
VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €500
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €650
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €750
Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!
VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.Register for this course
on course website