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WP Series » WP Series 2003

Gottcheiner, Alain. 2003. "Contradictions and their Use in Falsification : the Case of Comparative Linguistics and QCA's Contribution". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-17. Published online 29 September 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Gottcheiner2003.pdf.

Abstract: Linguists searching about laws of phonetic changes make use of the entire corpus at their disposal. By so doing, they find laws that correctly describe observed changes, especially "splits", but can't be checked. Such a law may always be found if using enough parameters, but doesn't guarantee a fair description. In a Popperian perspective, we'd like to suggest working on a partial corpus, trying to establish laws that correctly account for all matching multiplets considered, then applying these assumed laws to the rest of the corpus ; if no counterexample is found, the set of laws gains in credibility. In this approach, QCA may be very useful, because it allows us to : 1) consider all possible influences (position in the word, preceding and following phoneme, umlaut/ablaut, position relative to stress,...) as conditions ; 2) use contradictions as guides to the detection of influences we forgot to use ; 3) modify the corpus and set of conditions at will ; 4) produce several laws, among which we may choose the most plausible ; 5) find implications that aren't seen at first glance.

Levi-Faur, David. 2003. "Comparative Research Designs in the Study of Regulation: How to Increase the Number of Cases without Compromising the Strengths of Case-Oriented Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-16. Published online 24 September 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\LeviFaur2003.pdf.

Abstract: The aim of this chapter is to explore the role of variations and similarities in Medium-N comparative analysis and to suggest a technique that could maximize their explanatory power in designs that combine two or more comparative approaches to the study of regulatory change. The chapter identifies four popular comparative approaches to the study of politics and policy in general and regulation in particular. These four might best be titled the National Patterns Approach (NPA), the Policy Sector Approach (PSA), the International Regime Approach (IRA), and the Temporal Patterns Approach (TPA). While these approaches are not necessarily contradictory they represent different assumptions as to the determinants of political and regulatory change. Each of these approaches omits some important sources of variations and similarities in the regulation of the economy and society. To overcome these omissions it is suggested that combinations of these approaches - through complex research designs - might prove a sounder and more effective method for the study of regulation.

Kvist, John. 2003. "Conceptualisation, Configuration, and Categorisation - Diversity, Ideal Types and Fuzzy Sets in Comparative Welfare State Research". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-15. Published online 24 September 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Kvist2003.pdf.

Abstract: This paper advances a new method for studying ideal types, fuzzy-set theory, which is a framework that allows a precise operationalisation of theoretical concepts, the configuration of concepts into analytical constructs, and the categorisation of cases. In a Weberian sense ideal types are analytical constructs used as yardsticks to measure the similarity and difference between concrete phenomena. Ideal type analysis involves differentiation of categories and degrees of membership of such categories. In social science jargon, this means analysis involving the evaluation of qualitative and quantitative differences or, in brief, of diversity. Fuzzy set theory provides a calculus of compatibility. It can measure and compute theoretical concepts and analytical constructs in a manner that is true to their formulation and meaning. This paper sets out elements and principles of fuzzy set theory that are useful for ideal type analysis and presents two illustrative examples of how it can be used in comparative studies. The examples concern changing Nordic welfare policies in the 1990s, unemployment and child family policies, and relate to their conformity to predefined ideal typical models.

Cronqvist, Lasse. 2003. "Presentation of TOSMANA. Adding Multi-Value Variables and Visual Aids to QCA". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-14. Published online 24 September 2003.
NB: an updated version is available as WP 2004-20.

Abstract: In this presentation the outlines of the TOSMANA software development are described. TOSMANA is intended to be a tool for case-based comparative analysis, implementing existing techniques as Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as well as new approaches towards macro-qualitative comparative analysis. The different parts of TOSMANA are explained and some ideas on further development are introduced.

Watanabe, Tsutomu. 2003. "Where Theory and Reality Meet: Using the Full Potential of QCA by Exploiting the Intersection Function of the QCA Software. International Comparison Analysis about the Occurrence of Social Movement". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-13. Published online 23 September 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Watanabe2003.pdf.

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Moury, Catherine. 2003. "Use of Fuzzy Set in an Explanatory Research: a Study on the Characteristics of Coalition Agreement". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-12. Published online 23 September 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Moury2003.pdf.

Abstract: This research aims to understand why the complete and precise character of the coalition agreement varies. I assume that the fuzzy set is the appropriate method in such an explanatory phase of the research, because it allows the "necessary dialogue between ideas and evidence". The results suggest to consider the redaction of the agreement as a two level game, between the parties and between the government and the parties which support it.

Dumont, Patrick and Hanna Bäck. 2003. "Why So Few, and So Late? Green Parties and the Question of Governmental Participation". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-11. Published online 23 September 2003.
NB: Published in European Journal of Political Research, see bibliography.

Abstract: Green parties have been represented in the parliaments of European Union countries since 1981 but only a few have entered national governments, and this has not happened until recently. Using a data-set comprising 44 government formation opportunities where Greens were represented in parliament, we show that parties involved in these bargaining situations were more office-oriented than earlier studies argued. As Green parties are less office-seeking than other parties, this general tendency for office-seeking behaviour in government formation may partly account for the scarcity of Greens in government. Further, we test a number of hypotheses derived from theories that account for the specific nature of Green parties in terms of their office-, policy- and vote-seeking orientations. We find that Greens participate in government when they have lost at least one election, when they are identified as a clear electoral threat by the main party of the left and when the policy-distance between the Greens and the main left party is small. As these simultaneous conditions only materialized recently, and in a few countries, we argue that our analysis, which is the first comparative and multivariate test on this question, helps explaining the scarcity and the delay of Green governmental participation.

Ragin, Charles. 2003b. "Making Comparative Analysis Count". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-10. Published online 10 September 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Ragin2003b.pdf.

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Ragin, Charles. 2003a. "Recent Advances in Fuzzy-Set Methods and Their Application to Policy Questions". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-9. Published online 21 August 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Ragin2003a.pdf.

Abstract: Fuzzy sets have many potential applications in the social sciences. The ideas and suggestions presented in Fuzzy-Set Social Science scratch only the bare surface of their potential uses, for there are many ways to integrate fuzzy sets (and set-theoretic thinking more generally) into social research. In this paper, I sketch several recent advances in fuzzy-set methods, illustrating them with examples drawn from policy research. While these new fuzzy-set methods build on arguments presented in Fuzzy-Set Social Science, they also forge a strong link to some of the crisp-set principles presented in The Comparative Method, especially those concerning the issue of limited diversity. Thus, the techniques presented in this paper are generally relevant to both crisp-set and fuzzy-set analysis. The first advance I present is the elaboration and refinement of the concepts of "consistency" and "coverage" in set-theoretic analysis. Specifically, I show how to assess the consistency and coverage of combinations of causal conditions. Consistency concerns the degree to which a combination of causal conditions is consistent with an argument of sufficiency; coverage concerns the relative importance of combinations of sufficient conditions in the effort to explain or "cover" instances of the outcome. In this discussion I emphasize the fuzzy-set analysis of sufficient combinations of causal conditions, but the two principles apply just as well to the fuzzy-set analysis of necessary conditions and to the analysis of necessity and sufficiency as set-theoretic relations using crisp sets. The second advance I discuss is a new algorithm for the incorporation of "simplifying assumptions" into the results of applications of QCA and fs/QCA. This new algorithm allows the direct incorporation of theoretical and substantive knowledge into the evaluation of simplifying assumptions in situations of "limited diversity" (which is the rule in the study of naturally occurring social phenomena). I illustrate this algorithm with crisp sets, and then extend it to fuzzy sets. Along the way, I also introduce a new algorithm for the fuzzy-set analysis of social data. The new algorithm is more amenable to the analysis of limited diversity than the one presented in Fuzzy-Set Social Science.

Mahoney, James and Gary Goertz. 2003. "The Possibility Principle: Choosing Negative Cases in Comparative Research". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-8. Published online 4 August 2003.
NB: an updated version is available as WP 2004-18.

Abstract: A central challenge in qualitative research involves selecting the "negative" cases (e.g., nonrevolutions, nonwars) to be included in analyses that seek to explain positive outcomes of interest (e.g., revolutions, wars). Although it is widely recognized that the selection of negative cases is highly consequential for theory testing, methodologists have yet to formulate specific rules to inform this selection process. In this paper, we propose a principle -- the Possibility Principle -- that provides explicit, rigorous, and theoretically-informed guidelines for choosing a set of negative cases. The Possibility Principle advice researchers to select only negative cases where the outcome of interest was possible. An outcome is considered possible if one or a small number of independent variables predict its occurrence. Our discussion elaborates this principle and its implications for both theory formulation and theory testing. Major points are illustrated with substantive examples from studies of revolution, economic growth, democracy, and interstate war.

Goertz, Gary. 2003. "Assessing the Importance of Necessary or Sufficient Conditions in Fuzzy-Set Social Science". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-7. Published online 11 June 2003.
Available from: http:\\www.compasss.org\wpseries\Goertz2003.pdf.

Abstract: Assessing the importance of necessary or sufficient conditions in fuzzy-set social science Political scientists of all stripes have proposed numerous necessary or sufficient condition hypotheses. For methodologists a question is then how can we assess the "importance" of these necessary conditions. This paper addresses two central questions about the importance of necessary or sufficient conditions. The first regards their "absolute" importance which is addressed via the concept of the trivialness of necessary or sufficient conditions. The second importance question deals with the relative importance of necessary or sufficient conditions: for example, if X_1 and X_2 are necessary or sufficient conditions, is one more important than the other? The paper develops measures to assess the importance of necessary or sufficient conditions in three related contexts: (1) Venn diagrams, (2) 2x2 tables, and (3) fuzzy logic, with an emphasis on fuzzy logic methods. The empirical analysis uses the measures of absolute and relative importance to extend Ragin's (2000) discussion of the causes of IMF riots.

Goertz, Gary and James Mahoney. 2003. "Two-Level Theories and Fuzzy Sets". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-6. Published online 13 May 2003.
NB: an updated version is available as WP 2004-19.

Abstract: Two-level theories explain outcomes with causal variables at two levels of analysis that are systematically related to one another. Although many prominent scholars in the field of comparative analysis have developed two-level theories, the empirical and methodological issues that these theories raise have yet to be s investigated. In this article, we explore different structures of two-level theories and consider the issues involved in testing these theories with fuzzy-set methods. We show that grasping the overall structure of two-level theories requires both specifying the particular type of relationship (i.e., causal, ontological, or substitutable) that exists between levels of analysis and specifying the logical linkages between levels in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. For the purposes of testing these theories, we illustrate using Skocpol's States and Social Revolutions that fuzzy-set analysis provides a powerful set of tools. However, as the Skocpol example shows, fuzzy-set methods are not effective if the investigator fails to be clear about the two-level structure of these theories from the onset.

Stokke, Olav Schram. 2003. "Boolean Analysis, Mechanisms, and the Study of Regime Effectiveness". COMPASSS WP Series 2003-5. Published online 12 January 2003.
NB: published in a book edited by Underdal, Arild and Oran R. Young, Regime Consequences: Methodological Challenges and Research Strategies. An updated version is available as WP 2007-48.

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