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Term 1 Week 7

Case studies and process-tracing

One of the biggest challenges in political science research is establishing causation. One of the main criticisms of quantitative approaches is their reliance on correlation, from which some analysts (too quickly) infer causal significance. As the dictum goes: correlation is not the same as causation. Qualitative researchers often stress that their methods better capture causal connections by focusing on processes. This class focuses on the importance of causal mechanisms and temporality for process tracing.

Methodological reading Additional reading
  • [1] Vennesson, P. (2008) Case Studies and Process Tracing: Theories and Practices, in: D. della Porta and M. Keating (eds.) Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences: A Pluralist Perspective. Cambridge UP, Ch. 12 (pp. 223-239).
  • [2] Collier, D. (2011) Understanding Process Tracing, PS: Political Science & Politics 44(4): 823-830.
  • [3] Hall, P. (2008): Systematic Process Analysis: When and How to Use It. European Political Science 7(3): 304-317.

[1] Book available as e-book through library. Simply copy-paste the title of the book into the article search function of the 'encore'-platform.

[2] [3] Journal available as e-journal through library. Simply copy-paste the title of the article into the article search function of the 'encore'-platform.

  • [1] Falkner, G. (2002) How intergovernmental are Intergovernmental Conferences? An example from the Maastricht Treaty reform, Journal of European Public Policy 9(1): 98-119.
  • [2] Roederer-Rynning, C. and F. Schimmelfennig (2012) Bringing codecision to agriculture: a hard case of parliamentarization, Journal of European Public Policy 19(7): 951-968.

[1] [2] Journal available as e-journal through library. Simply copy-paste the title of the article into the article search function of the 'encore'-platform.

Recommended reading

  • [1] Checkel, J. (2008) Process Tracing, in: A. Klotz and D. Prakash (eds.) Qualitative Methods in International Relations. A Pluralist Guide. Palgrave Macmillan, Ch. 8 (pp. 114-127).
  • [2] Bennett, A. (2010) Process Tracing and Causal Inference, in: A. Bennett and D. Collier (eds.) Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. Rowman & Littlefield (pp. 207-219).

[1] [2] Book available as e-book through library. Simply copy-paste the title of the book into the article search function of the 'encore'-platform.