Configurational Comparative Methods: QCA and fuzzy sets
published: Aug. 7, 2009, recorded: August 2009, views: 1106
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This course examines the family of 'configurational comparative methods' (CCM). First, the course spells out the fundamental concepts that underlie the configurational comparative approach. In the framework of the general literature on comparative empirical social research, participants are made familiar with issues such as concept formation, truth tables, basic Boolean algebra, ideal types, and property spaces. Then participants are trained to use the most widely used of the CCM so far: dichotomous Qualitative Comparative Analysis (csQCA). The practical steps and best practices of csQCA (including software use: TOSMANA and fs/QCA) are taught: first the basic procedures, then various refinements. The course is concluded with an overview of linked developments such as fuzzy set QCA (fsQCA) and multi-value QCA (mvQCA) and the combination of QCA with other methods. Real-life, published applications are used throughout the course; participants are also encouraged to bring their own data, if available. Some basic quantitative or qualitative methodological training is probably useful to get more out of the course, but participants with little methodological training should find no major obstacles to follow the course. Above all, participants should be motivated to engage in rigorous comparative analysis.
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