Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): An Application in 10 Steps (Online - 4 Day)

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) provides a bridge between case-oriented and variable-oriented research methods. It is rapidly making inroads in the social sciences.

This master class is designed for participants who are familiar with the basics of QCA. Participants without any QCA experience or previous formal QCA training are strongly recommended to first complete the master class Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An introduction.

 

 

This course is being offered across 4 evenings 'live' online via Zoom.

See syllabus below for a detailed timetable.

The Course will run from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm on Australian Eastern Daylight Time (GMT +11)

(ie Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra daylight savings time)

 

 
Level 2 - runs over 4 days
Course dates: Monday 14 February 2022 - Thursday 17 February 2022
Instructor: 

Professor Jeroen van der Heijden – Jeroen van der Heijden is Professor of Public Governance and Chair in Regulatory Practice at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (School of Government). He also is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University (School of Regulation and Global Governance). Jeroen works at the intersection of public governance and regulation, with a specific interest in regulatory stewardship and dynamic governance regimes. He has also specialised in different governance practices for low-carbon and resilient city development and transformation in the Global North and Global South.

Since 2007, he has been applying QCA in various research projects and publications. These include ‘Innovations in Urban Climate Governance: Voluntary Programs for Low Carbon Buildings and Cities’ with Cambridge University Press, 2017; this book builds on a QCA study of 35 voluntary programs in Australia, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA. More information on Jeroen’s work is available from www.jeroenvanderheijden.net.

Venue: 
Online
Week: 
Week 4
About this course: 

This is an intermediate master class. In it, we will go through the 10 steps of a full QCA project. It is expected participants are familiar with the basics of QCA, as, for example, taught in the ACSPRI master class Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An introduction.

The 10 steps we undertake in this master class are:
    1. Explaining the theoretical motivations for choosing QCA for your project
    2. Selection of outcomes and conditions
    3. Explaining the limitations that come with the number of conditions chosen
    4. Calibration of data
    5. Develop a raw data matrix
    6. Analysis of necessary conditions
    7. Analysis of sufficient conditions: truth table
    8. Analysis of sufficient conditions: choice of solution term
    9. Presentation of results
    10. Testing robustness and interpretation of results

 

The master class is a mix of lectures and exercises—the emphasis is on lectures, however (one of the challenges of QCA is that its iterative nature asks for much upfront “explaining” of later steps before early steps can be undertaken). By the end of this master class you will be able to carry out a full QCA application (both crisp set and fuzzy set). In class, we will mainly use crisp set QCA examples (they are easier for teaching purposes), but as will become clear in the class: crisp set (csQCA) is a specific application of fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA).

 

If you already have QCA-ready data, or data that you hope can be transformed to be QCA-ready, then please make sure to have it handy for the master class.

 

The target audience for this master class are researchers, practitioners and academics who have conducted at least one qualitative study, and are familiar with the basics of QCA. The master class is a combination of lectures, group discussions, and QCA exercises.

Course syllabus: 

Day 1

  • 6:30-7:00, Introductory session:
    • Who is who? Why have you chosen this course? What do you expect to get out it?
    • What are we going to do over the next two days? What are we not going to do?
  • 7:00-8:00, The first 3 steps:
    • Step 1: Explaining the theoretical motivations for choosing QCA for your project
    • Step 2: Selection of outcomes and conditions
    • Step 3: Explaining the limitations that come with the number of conditions chosen
    • Note: these three steps are extensively covered in the master class Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): An introduction
  • 8:00-9:00, Step 4: Calibration of data
    • What is data calibration? Why is it so important (and often time consuming) in QCA?
    • How to calibrate your data?
  • 9:00-9:30, Open discussion, calibrating your own data
    • What challenges do you expect to encounter in calibrating your own data?

 

Day 2

  • 6:30-7:00, Step 5: Develop a raw data matrix
    • What is the raw data matrix used for?
  • 7:00-8:00, Reflection on necessary, sufficient, INUS, and SUIN conditions
    • What do all these terms mean?
    • How do you think necessary, sufficient, INUS, and SUIN conditions will play out in your work?
  • 8:00-9:30, Step 6: Analysis of necessary conditions
    • What is the aim of the analysis of necessary conditions?
    • Exercise: analysis of necessary conditions in fs/QCA 3.0 (Windows and Mac software)
    • Interpretation of findings (consistency, coverage, trivial necessary conditions)

 

Day 3

  • 6:30-8:00, Step 7: Analysis of sufficient conditions – truth table
    • What is a truth table?
    • Exercise: create a truth table in fs/QCA 3.0 (Windows and Mac software)
    • Dealing with conflicts
    • Dealing with logical remainders
  • 8:00-9:30, Step 8: Analysis of sufficient conditions – choice of solution term
    • What is the aim of the analysis of sufficient conditions?
    • Complex solution, intermediate solution, parsimonious solution
    • Exercise: analysis of sufficient conditions in fs/QCA 3.0 (Windows and Mac software)
    • Interpretation of findings (consistency, coverage, trivial necessary conditions)

 

Day 4

  • 6:30-8:00, Recap of steps 6, 7 and 8
    • Apply steps 6, 7 and 8 to your own data (or additional data provided by Jeroen)
  • 8:00-8:45, Step 9: Presentation of results
    • Exploring different ways to present findings
  • 8:00-8:45, Step 10: Testing robustness and interpretation of results
    • Some thoughts on assessing the robustness of your QCA results
    • Final open discussion about applying QCA in your own work

 

Course format: 

This course will take place onlinem. It is expected that participants familiarize themselves with the QCA software (freeware) will use in class in preparation for this master class. This software, fs/QCA 3.0, is available from: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~cragin/fsQCA/software.shtml

Recommended Background: 

The target audience for this master class are researchers, practitioners and academics who have conducted at least one qualitative study, and are familiar with the basics of QCA. The master class will at times be high pace, and you will need to be able to understand the following concepts prior to participating in this master class: conjunctural causation, equifinality, necessity and sufficiency (in the context of QCA), logical minimisation, set theory and Boolean algebra (in the context of QCA), and data calibration (limits, membership, threshold point).

 

If you are not yet familiar with the basics of QCA, it is strongly recommended that you first complete the master class Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An introduction.

Recommended Texts: 

The instructor's bound, book length course notes will serve as the course text.

 

    • Schneider, C. and C. Wagemann (2012). Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
    • van der Heijden, J. (2017). Innovations in Urban Climate Governance: Voluntary Programs for Low-Carbon Buildings and Cities. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

 

Other readings:
    • Ragin, C. (2008). Redesigning Social Inquiry: Fuzzy Sets and Beyond. Chicago, Chicago University Press.
    • Rihoux, B. and C. Ragin (2009). Configurational Comparative Analysis. London, Sage.

Course fees
Early bird Member: 
$1,160
Early bird Non Member: 
$1,980
Early bird full time student Member: 
$720
Member: 
$1,480
Non Member: 
$2,280
Full time student Member: 
$1,280
FAQ: 

Q: Do I have to have had any qualitative research experience to do this course?
A: Yes, you will have been expected to have experience with at least one qualitative research project or have undertaken an introductory level course in qualitative research methods.

 

Q: Do I have to have had any experience with QCA to do this course?
A: Yes. The master class will at times be high pace and you will need to be able to understand the following concepts prior to participating in this master class: conjunctural causation, equifinality, necessity and sufficiency (in the context of QCA), logical minimisation, set theory and Boolean algebra (in the context of QCA), and data calibration (limits, membership, threshold point).

If you are not yet familiar with the basics of QCA, it is strongly recommended that you first complete the master class Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An introduction. It is also strongly recommended to familiarise yourself with the recommended texts before participating in this master class; particularly Schneider and Wagemann (2012).

 

Q: I already have some experience with QCA. Will I get anything out of this introductory course?
A: You absolutely will. Dr Jeroen van der Heijden has extensive experience in designing and carrying out QCA based research. He also has considerable experience in publishing research findings using this method. He can help you strengthening your current QCA study and advise you on how to present your work to an audience that is less familiar with QCA logic and tools.

Participant feedback: 

Loved the practical work with the software to reinforce content. (Online Summer 2020)

 

There was an EXCELLENT balance in the activities. (Online Summer 2020)

 

Jeroen was very helpful and always responsive to questions. He put a lot of additional work into the slide materials to make them relevant to us each day. (Online Summer 2020)

 

Notes: 

The instructor's bound, book length course notes will serve as the course text.