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Bader, Max. 2012. "Determinants of Electoral Malpractice in the Post-Soviet Area: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2012-68. Published online 22 February 2012.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Bader2012.pdf.

Abstract: Despite a generally significant degree of malpractice in elections in the post-Soviet area, the authorities of most post-Soviet states consistently invite the OSCE to observe the elections. Roughly since the turn of the century, assessment forms filled out by observers in forty-six elections have contained a standardized question about the quality of election-day procedures, allowing for a comparative study of electoral malpractice in the region. The paper performs a series of fuzzy-set analyses to come to a closer understanding of the conditions that lead to a high degree of malpractice in the post-Soviet area. In particular, the analysis scrutinizes five conditions that have previously been identified as relating to electoral malpractice in general or specifically in the post-Soviet area: the degree of competition in elections, the level of competitiveness in the political systems, the presence of OSCE observers, the presence of observers of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and disproportionality in the translation of votes into seats. The analysis suggests that elections with a relatively narrow margin of victory and elections held in a relatively competitive political environment tend to feature less electoral malpractice on election day. The analysis however fails to find conditions that are consistent with the outcome to a degree where it is reasonable to speak of sufficient or near- sufficient conditions, indicating that the circumstances that relate with electoral malpractice are highly diverse.

Bareis, Luka. 2011. "UN Arms Embargo Violations - It Takes Two to Tango: A QCA Perspective". COMPASSS WP Series 2011-67. Published online 18 November 2011.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Bareis2011.pdf.

Abstract: Every UN arms embargo imposed in the last decade has been violated. This means that arms supplier states, among them permanent members of the UN Security Council, have transferred weaponry to the embargoed state. States engage in these activities to enhance their regional power and thereby extend their influence. Past research almost exclusively deals with the recipient side of an embargo violating arms transfer, i.e. the embargoed state. Yet, it is crucial to gain a better understanding of the arms supplier side in order to enhance embargo effectiveness as the responsibility of implementing an arms embargo lies de-facto with potential arms supplier states. This paper conducts a crisp-set analysis (csQCA) to investigate the conditions under which these states present a higher propensity to violate an UN arms embargo. Among the five included conditions, 'low global integration' together with 'high corruption' and 'weak rule of law' appears to be a necessary combination for a violation. Adding the conditions a 'minor state' or a 'non-democratic state' leads to sufficiency. When including residuals for the analysis, rule of law becomes the most important condition in explaining a violation, being alone necessary and sufficient. Implications are discussed.

Baun, Dylan. 2011. "From Social Tension to Protracted Civil Conflict: Using fsQCA to Analyze Conflict in Lebanon". COMPASSS WP Series 2011-66. Published online 28 October 2011.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Baun2011.pdf.

Abstract: Since the foundation of conflict studies in Lebanon, scholars have often used ambiguous terms and employed all-inclusive explanations to describe various types of conflict. While their historical analysis has been helpful in understanding case specificities of conflict periods, the scholarship has relied on dichotomous characterizations: i.e., Lebanon was either on the brink of civil war during moments of volatile social tension (ST) or experienced protracted civil conflict (PCC). Furthermore, scholars have yet to test or empirically justify the strength of the conditions or combinations for ST or PCC that they investigate. In order to rectify these issues, this article uses the methods of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to solidify conclusions on different conflict dynamics in Lebanon. Most importantly, it demonstrates how to empirically distinguish between cases of conflict along the continuum of ST to PCC in Lebanon over an expansive timeframe (1841-2008). This article contributes to both the fields of fsQCA and conflict studies in the Middle East as it simultaneously extends the application of fsQCA to conflict dynamics in Lebanon, while challenging and elaborating theories on conflict in Lebanon through empirical justifications.

Berg-Schlosser, Dirk. 2002. "Macro-Quantitative vs Macro-Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences - Testing Empirical Theories of Democracy". COMPASSS WP Series 2002-2. Published online 5 November 2002.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/BergSchlosser2002.pdf.

Abstract: -

Bochsler, Daniel. 2006. "Electoral engineering and inclusion of ethnic groups: Ethnic minorities in parliaments of Central and Eastern European countries". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-38. Published online 15 February 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Bochsler2006.pdf.

Abstract: Inter-ethnic fire was set in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe after the breakdown of the communist regimes. This resulted in discrimination of groups of citizens and in violent conflicts. An important aspect of power-sharing regimes and of the discrimination or integration of minority groups is the way, in which parliaments are elected. Parliamentary elections may accelerate the flames - or they may be attempts to extinguish them. To a certain degree, the elections' success in fire extinguishing relies on the electoral systems. In this article, I shall test if electoral systems are favourable to ethnic minority integration. For that purpose, I explore three questions: 1. Do they enable ethnic minority parties to gain representation in parliament? 2. Do they allow a plurality amongst ethnic minority parties? 3. Do they support a policy of conciliation by giving incentives to vote for mixed-ethnic parties? Or do they on the contrary hinder their success? My empirical test on a database covering 106 ethnic minorities in Central and European countries confirms the importance of electoral laws for the representation of ethnic minority parties. More concretely, my tests using the Qualitative Comparative Approach (QCA) show that if proportional electoral systems are amended with high national thresholds, even medium-sized territorially concentrated ethnic minorities are excluded from parliament. And any kind of plurality of singlemember district systems may be poison for the representation of not-concentrated minorities and exclude local minorities.

Borgna, Camilla. 2013. "Fuzzy-Set Coincidence Analysis: The Hidden Asymmetries". COMPASSS WP Series 2013-72. Published online 5 March 2013.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Borgna2013.pdf.

Abstract: Despite being conceptually and algebraically straightforward, set coincidence has never received great attention within the framework of set-relational research, which has essentially focused on subset/superset relations. In this article, I advance a novel procedure called fuzzy-set coincidence analysis to systematically assess the degree of overlapping of two or multiple sets. Individual-level analyses, and those in social stratification in particular, are deemed to be a fertile field to apply fuzzy-set coincidence analysis. A main comparative advantage with respect to statistical techniques lies in its ability to uncover hidden asymmetrical patterns. This will be shown with an empirical application that explores patterns of overlapping inequalities for students of different migratory status.

Cebotari, Victor. 2010. "Protesting Ethnic Minorities in Europe: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2010-57. Published online 8 March 2010.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Cebotari2010.pdf.

Abstract: This study analyzes the contextual nature of ethnogroup mobilization in Europe. The focus is on ethnopolitical protest, a form of group mobilization involving peaceful protest. The analysis is based on the "Minorities at Risk" dataset which consists of data on ethnic minorities that are most vulnerable to discrimination practices within European countries. The paper assesses the status of necessity and sufficiency for several conditions in relation to both the presence and the absence of strong ethnopolitical protest for 29 selected minority groups: democracy level, political discrimination, geographical concentration, ethnic fractionalization and the degree of national pride among members of the minority group. The fuzzy-set analysis highlights that minority groups are engaged in strong, but peaceful protest when they (1) are mobilized in a democratic environment, (2) live in a county with a high degree of ethnic fractionalization, and (3) either have weak feelings of national pride or are ethnically concentrated in compact territorial locations. On the other side of the outcome, minority groups without strong ethnopolitical protest (1) have strong feelings of national pride among members of the group, (2) face no political discrimination, and (3) reside in emerging democracies. These results demonstrate the utility of fuzzy set analysis for the investigation of causal complexity in the area of ethnic mobilization.

Clement, Caty. 2005. "The Nuts and Bolts of State Collapse: Common Causes and Different Patterns? A QCA Analysis of Lebanon, Somalia and the former-Yugoslavia". COMPASSS WP Series 2005-32. Published online 7 July 2005.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Clement2005.pdf.

Abstract: This paper is the result of a research project designed to address two questions: 'why' do states collapse and 'how' do they collapse? Rather than testing existing theories (largely non existent), this paper suggests a new model. The first issue, the causes of state collapse, has been the focus of in depth research over the recent years. The bulk of the comparative work came through large N studies focussing on long-term structural conditions and often resulting in long shopping lists of indicators. Instead, this research develops a concise set of four core causes (rather than indicators) based on in-depth country research (small n) using 'soft' qualitative data (quantitative being often unreliable and constraining the research).

Cooper, Barry and Judith Glaesser. 2016. "The set theoretic analysis of probabilistic regularities with fsQCA, QCApro and CNA: Exploring possible implications for current 'best practice.'" COMPASSS WP Series 2016-85. Published online 1 July 2016.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/CooperGlaesser2016.pdf.

Abstract: Lieberson (1997a,b) and Goldthorpe (2007, 2016), both eminent critics of QCA, argue that social life is characterised in part by probabilistic processes. Both claim that QCA is ill- equipped to respond to this aspect of social reality (Goldthorpe, 2007, 2016, Lieberson, 1991, 2001). In fact, Ragin, in his earlier work (e.g. 1987), does employ probabilistic language to describe differences in outcome by configuration and, later (2000), explicitly discusses the role of randomness in the processes generating outcomes. Notwithstanding this background, there has been little attention paid to the consequences of such generative randomness – as opposed to measurement and sampling error – for the practices of QCA and related set theoretic techniques such as CNA. In this exploratory paper we discuss some of these consequences.

Cooper, Barry, Judith Glaesser and Stephanie Thomson. 2014. "Schneider and Wagemann's proposed Enhanced Standard Analysis for Ragin's Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Some unresolved problems and some suggestions for addressing them". COMPASSS WP Series 2014-77. Published online 6 February 2014.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/CooperGlaesserThomson2014.pdf.

Abstract: Ragin's (2008) Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) provides a way of undertaking case-based configurational analysis, focusing on necessary and sufficient conditions. QCA is increasingly used to undertake systematic set-theoretic analyses of small qualitative datasets and, occasionally, to analyse survey datasets. Ragin has discussed the problems caused by the "limited diversity" characteristic of social scientific data, and demonstrated how counterfactual analysis can alleviate these. The Standard Analysis module of his fsQCA software (Ragin 2008) incorporates this counterfactual reasoning approach. Schneider and Wagemann (2012, 2013) argue that there are problems with Ragin's approach and propose an Enhanced Standard Analysis. They focus on the ways in which, during a QCA, necessary conditions can become "hidden" during the analysis of "truth tables" characterised by limited diversity. Our paper, having introduced the necessary background, argues that their proposed solutions introduce new problems, some of a logical kind, and must be treated with care.

Cronqvist, Lasse. 2004. "Presentation of TOSMANA. Adding Multi-Value Variables and Visual Aids to QCA". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-20. Published online 15 April 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Cronqvist2004.pdf.
NB: Update of WP 2003-14.

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

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.

Curchod, Corentin. 2002b. "Diversity-Oriented Research. Between Complexity and Generality". COMPASSS WP Series 2002-4. Published online 19 November 2002.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Curchod2002b.pdf.

Abstract: This paper is NOT a working paper. This is a few notes I took while reading Charles Ragin's book on Fuzzy-Set (Ragin [2000]. "Fuzzy-Set Social Science", Chicago: The University of Chicago Press). I also selected a few quotations from the book, which seem useful to me. They appear in the text with a left borderline. Please do not quote this document, and check the original book before reusing quotations.

Curchod, Corentin. 2002a. "La méthode comparative en sciences de gestion : Vers une approche quali-quantitative de la réalité managériale". COMPASSS WP Series 2002-3. Published online 8 November 2002.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Curchod2002a.pdf.

Abstract: -

Delreux, Tom and Delphine Hesters. 2010. "Solving Contradictory Simplifying Assumptions in QCA: Presentation of a New Best Practice". COMPASSS WP Series 2010-58. Published online 4 May 2010.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/DelreuxHesters2010.pdf.

Abstract: One of the strongest features of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is the possibility for explicit use of remainders in order to contribute to more parsimonious results. However, as a consequence of the way in which QCA procedures are currently executed, simplifying assumptions made about the remainders can be in contradiction with each other. As contradictions - the same configuration of conditions leading to different outcomes - go against the underlying principles of the methodology and make the research results invalid, researchers using QCA should control for contradictory simplifying assumptions (CSA) and solve them if they have emerged during the analysis. In today's literature, one way of solving CSA has been introduced and replicated by different scholars. The purpose of this paper is to introduce an alternative technique for solving CSA and to demonstrate with real-life data how our solution can be applied in practice. We believe our technique is a refinement and improvement on both the process and result level; it remains closer to the fundamental principles of QCA and the results are possibly more parsimonious. Hence, we propose it as a new best practice.

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.

Dusa, Adrian. 2007. "QCA Graphical User Interface Manual". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-50. Published online 7 October 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Dusa2007c.pdf.
NB: Published in Journal of Business Research, see bibliography; update of WP 2006-41.

Abstract: This manual is intended for scholars wishing to use QCA in an R environment. It includes visualisation and factorisation functions, along with all other basic QCA functions. QCAGUI is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the QCA package, derived from R Commander. Because QCA has little to do with statistics, the menus from Rcmdr were stripped down to the very basics. In crisp sets QCA, data is binary therefore it is fairly decent to treat it as categorical (1 - presence; 0 - absence). In order to ease the primary analysis (e.g. tables of frequencies) and the creation of basic graphs, this package activates some menus that are not available in Rcmdr but for factors. Users should be aware, however, that QCAGUI is not a package for statistics; Rcmdr is better for this purpose. Updates of the QCA packages can be followed on the R webpage.

Dusa, Adrian. 2007. "Enhancing Quine-McCluskey". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-49. Published online 5 October 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Dusa2007b.pdf.

Abstract: Currently, the only algorithm that yields an exact solution to the Boolean minimization problem is the well known Quine-McCluskey, but almost all software solutions employ different implementations because of its two fundamental weaknesses: it is memory hungry and slow for a large number of causal conditions. This paper proposes an alternative to the classical Quine-McCluskey algorithm, one that addresses both problems, and especially the one of memory consumption. The solutions of this new algorithm are also exact, but they are produced not by following the cumbersome classical algorithm but using a more direct and faster approach. Memory restrictions limit the number of input variables (causal conditions) at a ceiling of about 14 or 15 (because each new variable expands the memory usage in a geometric proportion), where this alternative uses only a very small fraction of memory and it can process about 20 input variables with acceptable speed.

Dusa, Adrian. 2007. "A Mathematical Approach to the Boolean Minimization Problem". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-46. Published online 8 March 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Dusa2007a.pdf.
NB: Published in Quality and Quantity, see bibliography

Abstract: Any minimization problem involves a computer algorithm. Many such algorithms have been developed for the Boolean minimizations, in diverse areas from computer science to social sciences (with the famous QCA algorithm). For a small number of entries (conditions in the QCA) any such algorithm will find a minimal solution, especially with the aid of the modern computers. However, for a large number of conditions a quick and complete solution is not easy to find using an algorithmic approach, due to the extremely large space of possible combinations to search in. In this article I will demonstrate a simple alternative solution, a mathematical method to obtain all possible minimized prime implicants. This method is not only easier to understand than other complex algorithms, but it could prove to be a faster method to obtain an exact and complete Boolean solution.

Dusa, Adrian. 2006. "QCA Graphical User Interface Manual". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-41. Published online 20 June 2006.
NB: an updated version is available as WP 2007-50.

Emmenegger, Patrick, Dominik Schraff and André Walter. 2014. "QCA, the Truth Table Analysis and Large-N Survey Data: The Benefits of Calibration and the Importance of Robustness Tests". COMPASSS WP Series 2014-79. Published online 16 October 2014.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/EmmeneggerSchraffWalter2014.pdf.

Abstract: This paper argues that QCA is a suitable methodological choice for the analysis of a specific but widely used form of large-N data in the social sciences, namely survey data collected through computer-assisted telephone interviews or internet surveys. The reason is that the linguistic form of survey data often lends itself to a direct translation into fuzzy sets. Likert-scaled survey items let respondents make qualitative statements of agreement, disagreement and indifference. Fuzzy sets can capture these qualitative differences in a way that classical intervalscaled indicators cannot. Moreover, fuzzy algebra allows researchers to combine multiple sets in a simple and transparent manner, thereby giving QCA an important advantage over regression-based approaches. However, the analysis of large-N survey data removes one of the characteristic strengths of QCA: its case orientation. In the case of large-N survey data, the case orientation is typically weak and causal inference thus questionable. To remedy this shortcoming QCA methodologists have suggested robustness tests to enhance confidence in the proposed relationships. This paper shows how these robustness tests can be used in a large-N setting and suggests a new robustness test that is particularly suited for large-N survey data.

Emmenegger, Patrick. 2010b. "Non-Events in Macro-Comparative Social Research: Why we should care and how we can analyze them". COMPASSS WP Series 2010-60. Published online 29 September 2010.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Emmenegger2010b.pdf.

Abstract: This paper addresses the role of non-events in macro-comparative social research. Non-events are defined as critical junctures during which actors do not alter the policy path although the counterfactual case of policy change was a likely possibility. Macro-comparative researchers often overlook non-events. The reason for this is simple. Critical junctures are often identified on the basis of change that took place during these critical junctures. In contrast, there is no approach to identify critical junctures in the absence of change. Thus, although more or less explicit decisions to not change policy paths can be very informative, comparative researchers overlook these non-events because they do not realize that there were considerable possibilities for change during these critical junctures. In this paper, we discuss the role of non-events in macro-comparative social research. First, we explain how counterfactual theorizing can be used to integrate non-events in explanatory statements. Second, we demonstrate, using an example from our own research, how the consideration of non-events can advance our knowledge. Finally, we suggest a procedure, which can be used to analyze non-events and which is based on the combined usage of fsQCA to identify notconsistent cases, process tracing to determine the relevant critical junctures and disciplined counterfactual theorizing to probe whether change was really a possibility.

Emmenegger, Patrick. 2010a. "How good are your Counterfactuals? Assessing Quantitative Macro-Comparative Welfare State Research with Qualitative Criteria". COMPASSS WP Series 2011-59. Published online 29 September 2010.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Emmenegger2010a.pdf.

Abstract: All causal statements based on historical data - both in qualitative and quantitative social research - rely on counterfactuals. In quantitative research, scholars attempt to arrive at valid counterfactuals by emulating an experimental design. However, because of treatments that are impossible to manipulate and the non-random assignment of data to treatment and control groups, causal statements are often based on invalid counterfactuals. In contrast, in qualitative research, scholars attempt to arrive at valid counterfactuals by probing the historical and logical consistency of counterfactuals and by acknowledging the interconnectedness of events. Criteria to evaluate counterfactuals have been developed, especially in the international relations literature. These criteria allow for a discussion of the quality of counterfactuals used in causal statements. In this article, we suggest using these qualitative criteria to evaluate counterfactuals in quantitative macro-comparative welfare state research. We argue that these criteria can help us identifying erroneous causal inferences in quantitative research based on historical data. The usefulness of such an approach is illustrated using the seminal contribution of Alesina and Glaeser (2004) on racial-linguistic fractionalization and social expenditure.

Fischer, Manuel. 2013. "Policy Network Structures, Institutional Context, and Policy Change". COMPASSS WP Series 2013-73. Published online 13 May 2013.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Fischer2013.pdf.

Abstract: This paper studies whether characteristics of policy networks can help us understand policy change. The relation between policy networks and policy outputs is complex. I argue that taking into account the institutional context in which decision-making takes place allows understanding which policy network structures favor major policy change and which ones breed outputs close to the status quo. The study analyzes how conflict, collaboration, and power relations among coalitions of actors matter for the understanding of policy change in an institutional context of a consensus democracy. Empirically, I rely on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to conduct a cross-sector comparison between the 11 most important political decision-making processes in Switzerland between 2001 and 2006. Coalition structures with low conflict and strong collaboration among coalitions as well as structures with dominant coalitions and weak collaboration both facilitate major policy change. Competing coalitions that are separated by strong conflict but still collaborate strongly produce policy outputs that are close to the status quo.

Fischer, Manuel. 2012. "Dominance or Challenge? An Explanation of Power Structures among Coalitions in Swiss Decision-Making Processes". COMPASSS WP Series 2012-69. Published online 26 April 2012.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Fischer2012.pdf.

Abstract: This paper studies the conditions under which a given power distribution among coalitions of collective actors in political decision-making processes emerge. The distribution of power among actors is one of the basic dimensions of politics and is important because of its influence on the output of the decision-making processes. The paper distinguishes between ideal-types of power structures with a dominant coalition ("dominance") and structures with distributed power among several coalitions ("challenge"). It takes into account four conditions supposed to interact with each other, i.e. the degree of federalism of a policy project, its degree of Europeanization, its policy type (i.e. direct vs. indirect coercion), and the openness of the pre-parliamentary phase of the decision-making process. In order to assess the importance of these conditions, I compare the 11 most important decision-making processes in Switzerland between 2001 and 2006 by a Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). Results suggest that Europeanization or an open pre-parliamentary phase lead to a power structure of dominance, whereas only a specific combination of all four conditions is able to explain power structures of challenge. I argue that this is good news for the integration capacity of the Swiss political system.

Fiss, Peer C. 2005. "A Set-Theoretic Approach to Organizational Configurations". COMPASSS WP Series 2005-30. Published online 14 January 2005.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Fiss2005.pdf.
NB: Published in Academy of Management Review; update of WP 2004-24.

Abstract: I argue that research on organizational configurations has been limited by a mismatch between theory and methods. While configurational theory stresses nonlinearity, synergistic effects, and equifinality, empirical research has largely drawn on methods that assume linearity, additive effects, and unifinality. I introduce set-theoretic methods as a viable alternative for overcoming this mismatch. Set-theoretic methods conceptualize cases as combinations of attributes and use Boolean algebra to derive simplified expressions of combinations that lead to a specific outcome. I demonstrate the value of such methods for studying organizational configurations and discuss their applicability for examining equifinality and limited diversity among configurations, as well as their relevance to other research fields such as complementarities theory, complexity theory, and the resource-based view.

Fiss, Peer. 2004. "Towards a Set-theoretic Approach for Studying Organizational Configurations". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-24. Published online 3 August 2004.
NB: Published in Academy of Management Review; an updated version is available as WP 2005-30.

Abstract: I argue that research on organizational configurations has been limited by a mismatch between theory and methods. While configurational theory stresses nonlinearity, synergistic effects, and equifinality, empirical research has largely drawn on methods that assume linearity, additive effects, and unifinality. I introduce set-theoretic methods as a viable alternative for overcoming this mismatch. Set-theoretic methods conceptualize cases as combinations of attributes and use Boolean algebra to derive simplified expressions of combinations that lead to a specific outcome. I demonstrate the value of such methods for studying organizational configurations and discuss their applicability for examining equifinality and limited diversity among configurations.

Garcia-Castro, Roberto and Miguel A. Arino. 2013. "A General Approach to Panel Data Set-Theoretic Research". COMPASSS WP Series 2013-76. Published online 30 December 2013.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/GarciaCastroArino2013.pdf.

Abstract: Management research based on general linear statistical models has been rapidly moving toward a greater and richer use of longitudinal (panel data) econometric methods able to cope with critical issues such as endogeneity and reverse causality. By contrast, set-theoretic empirical research in management, despite its growing diffusion, has been solely focused on cross-sectional analysis to date. This article covers this void in longitudinal set-theoretic research. We provide a general framework in which consistency and coverage can be assessed both cross-sectionally and across time. The suggested approach is based on the distinction between pooled, between and within consistency and coverage, which can be computed using panel data. We use KLD's panel (1991-2005) to illustrate how this approach can be applied in the context of longitudinal research.

Gjølberg, Maria. 2007. "The Origin of Corporate Social Responisbility: Global Forces or National Legacies?". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-47. Published online 2 August 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Gjolberg2007.pdf.
NB: Published in Socio-Economic Review, see bibliography

Abstract: This article explores the relative importance of global forces and national political-economic institutions for companies' inclination and ability to engage in initiatives promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The globalist hypothesis postulates the CSR efforts of a given company as a function of necessities dictated by the global market place: strong anti-globalisation and anti-corporate sentiments create a need for a positive reputation in order to obtain a "social licence to operate". The institutionalist hypothesis postulates the CSR efforts of a given company as a function of institutional factors in the national, political-economic system: companies based in certain political economic systems have comparative institutional advantages for success in CSR. The hypotheses are examined quantitatively by testing an index of national CSR-performance against a wide variety of political-economic indicators. The final analysis, based on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), reveals causal heterogeneity and indicates two separate roads leading to CSR success.

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 Jack S. Levy. 2005. "Causal Explanations, Necessary Conditions, and Case Studies: World War I and the End of the Cold War". COMPASSS WP Series 2005-31. Published online 18 March 2005.
NB: published in a monograph edited by the authors: Causal Explanations, Necessary Conditions, and Case Studies: World War I and the End of the Cold War.

Abstract: Our focus in this anthology is on how scholars often use a certain family of causal explanations in their analyses of historical events, such as World War I and the end of the Cold War. The next chapter by Goertz and Levy serves as a survey of the various ways necessary condition counterfactuals appear in the literature on the causes of World War I and the end of the Cold War. We do not pretend to cover exhaustively these massive debates, but we have chosen prominent scholars whose work illustrates the various aspects of our central theme. While the idea of a necessary condition is simple, they show that there are extensive ramifications for research design, theory, and causal explanations. Although necessary condition counterfactuals are the central focus of this volume, not all of the contributors agree that the concept is a useful one. In particular, Brooks and Wohlforth (chapter 9) argue that probabilistic approaches to explanation and causation are more useful. Thompson worries that an emphasis on necessary and sufficient condition causation will detract from the goal of evaluating the relative causal weights of different factors (see Goertz and Starr 2002 for a discussion of these two issues). So while Goertz and Levy show that the necessary condition explanatory strategy is widespread, this does not necessarily mean that it is without problems or those other alternative strategies do not exist.

Goertz, Gary and Jack Levy. 2004. "Causal Explanations, Necessary conditions, and Case Studies". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-22. Published online 2 June 2004.
NB: an updated version is available as WP 2005-31.

Abstract: In our discussion of causation in this chapter we make no attempt to survey the ways a given event can be an important cause. We focus on necessary conditions as a particular kind of important cause. Necessary conditions are important causes because they directly imply a key counterfactual: If X had not been present/occurred then the Cold War would not have ended. A probabilistic version is that if X had not occurred then the end of Cold War would have been very unlikely. It turns out that this rather simple causal strategy has wide-spread ramifications for explaining individual events. We first take a look at simple necessary condition explanations and their intimate connection with counterfactuals. However, necessary conditions also play an essential role in multivariate explanations of events as well. For example, one frequently reads about historical chains of events. If we take this metaphor seriously then each "link" is a necessary condition factor: break one link and the chain is broken.

Goertz, Gary and James Mahoney. 2004. "Two-Level Theories and Fuzzy Sets". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-19. Published online 30 January 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/GoertzMahoney2004.pdf.
NB: Update of WP 2003-6.

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 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 and within levels of analysis and specifying the logical linkages between levels in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. We argue that for the purposes of testing these theories fuzzy-set analysis provides a powerful set of tools. However, to realize this potential, investigators using fuzzy-set methods must be clear about the two-level structure of their theories from the onset. We illustrate these points through an empirical, fuzzy-set test of Skocpol's States and Social Revolutions.

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.

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.

Grassi, Davide and Francesca Luppi. 2014. "Do We Live Longer and Healthier Lives under Democracy? A Configurational Comparative Analysis of Latin America". COMPASSS WP Series 2014-78. Published online 4 April 2014.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/GrassiLuppi2014.pdf.

Abstract: Although a majority of studies underscores a positive impact, overall the bearing of democracy on life expectancy is still controversial. Compared with previous research, we propose a novel and superior operationalization of life expectancy and introduce a more complete definition of democracy. The methodology we employ (Qualitative Comparative Analysis), finally, reflects social causality more accurately and credibly than conventional quantitative techniques: in particular, QCA enables us to contextualize the impact of democracy on life expectancy in different groups of Latin America countries. We found four major models of democratic influence: when relevant, democracy acts in combination with varying configurations of factors, as prosperity, social equality and generous public health outlays, in different groups of countries.

Haege, Frank M. 2005. "Constructivism, Fuzzy Sets and (Very) Small-N: Revisiting the Conditions for Communicative Action". COMPASSS WP Series 2005-33. Published online 29 August 2005.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Haege2005.pdf.
NB: Published in Journal of Business Research

Abstract: In this paper, it is argued that the fuzzy set approach can engage in a fruitful liaison with constructivist research. There are several important properties of fuzzy set analysis that overlap with constructivist theorizing and research practice. To demonstrate the usefulness of the approach, Niemann's study on the conditions for communicative action is replicated and re-interpreted using fuzzy sets. The result is an improvement of the informational content, the precision and the validity of conclusions drawn from the empirical analysis. Furthermore, the re-interpretation points to theoretical and conceptual issues that need more consideration in future research.

Haesebrouck, Tim. 2013. "The Added Value of Multi-Value QCA: Response to Vink & van Vliet and Thiem". COMPASSS WP Series 2013-74. Published online 3 December 2013.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Haesebrouck2013.pdf.

Abstract: This paper attempts to contribute to the discussion on the added value of mvQCA, which has been the subject of a very thorough debate between Vink and van Vliet (2009, 2013) and Thiem (2013). It argues that both sides largely overlook the most important strength of mvQCA: its ability to capture the impact of other variables on the degree a condition's presence is needed to produce an outcome. After expounding the need to capture this dimension of causal complexity, the paper demonstrates that mvQCA is the only QCA-variant capable of straightforwardly doing so by refuting the five reasons Vink and van Vliet provide to question the method's added value.

Hanley, Séan and Allan Sikk. 2013. "Economy, Corruption or Promiscuous Voters? Explaining the Success of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties in Eastern Europe". COMPASSS WP Series 2013-75. Published online 18 December 2013.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/HanleySikk2013.pdf.

Abstract: We discuss an emerging group of successful parties in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) that combine anti-establishment appeals with support for moderate policies of political and social reform, which we term anti-establishment reform parties (AERPs). Examples include the Simeon II National Movement (Bulgaria), Res Publica (Estonia), New Era (Latvia), Freedom and Solidarity (Slovakia), TOP09 and Public Affairs (Czech Republic) and Positive Slovenia. We carry out a comparative analysis using the Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) technique to identify the conditions under which AERPs made electoral breakthroughs in the period 1997-2013. We identify five sufficient paths for AERP breakthrough representing distinct combinations of several causal conditions: high corruption, rising corruption, rising unemployment, previous success of new parties and the previous success of new parties. We conclude by reviewing the implications of our findings for further research.

Hudson, John and Stefan Kuehner. 2011. "Analysing the Productive and Protective Dimensions of Welfare: Looking beyond the OECD". COMPASSS WP Series 2011-63. Published online 10 February 2011.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/HudsonKuehner2011.pdf.

Abstract: Since the foundation of conflict studies in Lebanon, scholars have often used ambiguous terms and employed all-inclusive explanations to describe various types of conflict. While their historical analysis has been helpful in understanding case specificities of conflict periods, the scholarship has relied on dichotomous characterizations: i.e., Lebanon was either on the brink of civil war during moments of volatile social tension (ST) or experienced protracted civil conflict (PCC). Furthermore, scholars have yet to test or empirically justify the strength of the conditions or combinations for ST or PCC that they investigate. In order to rectify these issues, this article uses the methods of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to solidify conclusions on different conflict dynamics in Lebanon. Most importantly, it demonstrates how to empirically distinguish between cases of conflict along the continuum of ST to PCC in Lebanon over an expansive timeframe (1841-2008). This article contributes to both the fields of fsQCA and conflict studies in the Middle East as it simultaneously extends the application of fsQCA to conflict dynamics in Lebanon, while challenging and elaborating theories on conflict in Lebanon through empirical justifications.

Jackson, Gregory. 2006. "Employee Representation in the Board Compared: A Fuzzy Sets Analysis of Corporate Governance, Unionism, and Political Institutions". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-36. Published online 27 January 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Jackson2006.pdf.
NB: Published in Industrielle Beziehungen, see bibliography

Abstract: Why do employees have rights to representation within corporate boards in some countries, but not in others? Board-level codetermination is widely considered a distinctive feature of coordinated or nonliberal models of capitalism. Existing literature stresses three sets of explanations for codetermination rooted in corporate governance, union strength and political systems. The paper compares data from 22 OECD countries using the QCA method (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) and fuzzy sets approach to explore necessary and sufficient conditions for board-level codetermination. The results show two central pathways toward codetermination both rooted primarily in union coordination and consensual political systems, but with divergent implications for corporate governance systems in Scandinavia and Germany.

Koole, Karin and Barbara Vis. 2012. "Working Mothers and the State: Under Which Conditions do Governments Spend Much on Maternal Employment Supporting Policies?". COMPASSS WP Series 2012-71. Published online 19 June 2012.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/KooleVis2012.pdf.

Abstract: Over the last years, the level of spending on maternal employment supporting policies has risen in most countries. Still, the variation across governments in this level is substantial. Under which conditions do governments spend relatively much? Drawing on the critical mass literature, we argue that a critical mass of at least 15 per cent of women legislators is a necessary condition for high levels of spending on an important maternal employment supporting policy: parental leave benefits. We test this hypothesis with a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of the governments from 12 OECD countries between 1980 and 2003 (n = 55). The analysis shows that a critical mass of women legislators is indeed a necessary condition for high levels of spending on parental leave benefits. This condition is not sufficient for high spending, though. We find that a critical mass is sufficient for high levels of spending when combined with leftist partisanship, economic growth and economic openness. These conditions are thus all INUS conditions: Insufficient but Non-redundant parts of an Unnecessary but Sufficient (combination of) condition. Additionally, we identify another route towards high spending in which a critical mass is combined with rightist partisanship, the absence of openness and corporatism. By assessing the influence of a critical mass of women in combination with other conditions on an important policy supporting the level of maternal employment, this study contributes to the comparative welfare state literature in general and the literature on new social risks in particular.

Kvist, Jon. 2006. "Measuring the Welfare State - Concepts, Ideal Types and Fuzzy Sets in Comparative Studies". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-40. Published online 29 May 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Kvist2006.pdf.

Abstract: Is the glass half-empty? Is it more empty than full? Such questions are often linked to judgements which concern qualitative states and changes in degree and kind. Abound in comparative studies such judgements bring forward issues of how best to conceptualise and measure. In comparative studies of the welfare state they prompt reflections on what constitutes the welfare state, how to operationalize it and how to measure change over time and space. Comparative welfare state research has made significant progress in the theoretical understanding of the welfare state itself, not least due to a dialogue between qualitatively and quantitatively oriented studies (Amenta, 2003). Since 1990, when Gøsta Esping-Andersen published Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, a common starting point has been the distinction between different types of welfare state regimes: identifying a liberal, conservative and a social democratic welfare state regime. In short, diversity - the co-existence of similarities and differences - characterises different welfare states. Comparative research however has made much less progress in the measurement of welfare state and welfare state change. A lack of consensus about how to measure either is the main reason why scholars disagree on the direction and magnitude of recent change in social policy, i.e. whether reforms amount to fundamental or marginal change (Clayton and Pontusson, 1998 with Pierson, 1996, or Gilbert, 2002 with Kvist, 1999). This chapter offers an alternative approach to measurement and a very different strategy, that of formulating a new way of going about measurement by using fuzzy sets and axioms in fuzzy set theory. The aim is to advance the application of fuzzy set theory as a new method for conceptualisation and measurement (see Ragin, 2000 for a broad introduction to fuzzy set social science). I argue that the fuzzy set approach is particularly useful for assessing diversity and change across a limited set of cases, and that it can overcome some of the problems typically related to measurement validity and precision. In other words, using fuzzy sets help to assess whether the glass is half-full or half empty, or how, if at all, the welfare state is retrenched or restructured.

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.

Lambach, Daniel, Eva Johais and Markus Bayer. 2015. "The Causes of State Collapse: Results from a QCA Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2015-80. Published online 17 July 2015.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/LambachJohaisBayer2015.pdf.

Abstract: Why do states collapse? The paper presents the results of a comprehensive investigation into the causes of state collapse. It also shows how QCA can address several methodological weaknesses of prior research. We test major causal hypotheses derived from the literature with csQCA involving 15 cases of state collapse between 1960 and 2007. The cases are compared in a synchronic and a diachronic comparison with two different control groups of fragile states that also experienced political upheaval without collapsing. Our results cast doubt on prominent theories of state collapse and suggest that alternative factors are more important. Using QCA allowed us to cope with the complex and equifinal causal structure of state collapse. However, conducting two different analyses made developing a causal model very difficult and our research design limited possibilities to adequately conceptualize dynamic factors. Therefore, we propose to supplement QCA with other methods, such as process-tracing, which are better able to capture causal mechanisms.

Larsen, Mattias. 2009. "Vulnerable Daughters in Times of Change: A Set-Theoretic Analysis of the 'Missing Girls' Problem in India". COMPASSS WP Series 2009-55. Published online 5 October 2009.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Larsen2009.pdf.

Abstract: In India, girls are aborted on a massive scale merely because they are girls. Underlying this widespread problem is the puzzling fact that the problem exists simultaneously with India experiencing remarkable development and change. Daughters have become vulnerable or even seen as dispensable in a time of general improvement in welfare and female status, and deep economic and social changes. The central argument of this article is that paying specific attention to this counterintuitive contradiction is key to explaining the problem. The findings centre on the most prominent theme in people's accounts; a contradiction between the continued importance of the cultural factors which for so long have established that a son is necessary in ways that a daughter cannot be and socio-economic changes that are challenging the foundations for these very same factors. The uncertainty over sons fulfilling expectations that this contradiction entails, rather than tilt the balance in favour of daughters within the context of a small family and lack of alternative arrangements for social support, has instead increased the relative importance of sons and intensified negative consequences for daughters. The article applies a set theoretic systematic comparison of eight villages incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data. The use of fuzzy sets facilitates a critical and alternative analysis based on a reconceptualisation grounded in intensive fieldwork which captures an important contextual nature of the problem. Two separate paths constituting contexts in which it becomes tragically rational to exclude daughters are found to lead to the problem.

Lee, Seungyoon Sophia. 2009. "Rethinking the New Risk Discussion: Risk Shifts in 18 Post-industrial Economies". COMPASSS WP Series 2009-56. Published online 5 November 2009.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Lee2009.pdf.

Abstract: The discussion of "new risks" in the field of social policy started to gain attention in the late 1990s. It is commonly argued that new risks are provoked by deindustrialization and/or globalization and that new risks tend to be more concentrated among the young, women and low skilled individuals. This study commences its inquiry with a scientific conceptualization of social risk in an attempt to critically rethink the argument of new risk. A reevaluation of the concept is followed by an empirical investigation of the question whether there is such a thing as new risk and whether there might be a convergence in the characteristics of new risk as the literature suggests. A lack of comparative empirical evidence on new risks in the existing literature calls for an investigation of advanced economies both from the global West, as well as the East. 18 countries are selected in order to provide a comparative account to understanding new risk. These are comparatively analyzed using the fuzzy-set qualitative analysis method (fs/QCA) discover different types of social risks and to measure degrees of changes in relation to social risk. In sum, this paper aims to answer two questions: 1) What is new risk? and 2) How do the characteristic of risks differ in different post-industrial countries? This study contributes to the new risk discussion not only theoretically and empirically, but also methodologically.

Lee, Seungyoon Sophia. 2008. "A Critique of the Fuzzy-Set Methods in Comparative Social Policy. A Critical Introduction and Review of the Applications of Fuzzy-Set Methods". COMPASSS WP Series 2008-53. Published online 21 August 2008.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Lee2008.pdf.

Abstract: This article critiques the Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Analysis (fs/QCA) methodology by examining its applicability in three studies in the field of comparative social policy. In each of these three test cases, I focus on the validity of Fuzzy-Set's claimed function - its ability to combine theoretic discourse and evidence analysis. All three studies investigate welfare state reform in the late twentieth century and apply fs/QCA: (1) "Welfare Reform in the Nordic Countries in the 1990s: Using Fuzzy-Set Theory to Assess Conformity to the Ideal Types", (2) "States of Welfare or States of Workfare? Welfare State Restructuring in the 16 Capitalist Democracies, 1985-2002", and (3) "The Diversity and Causality of Welfare State Reforms Explored with Fuzzy-Sets." This article begins by discussing the ontology and epistemology of comparative social policy. The Fuzzy-Set logic and set theoretic nature of social science theory is then discussed to align ontology with Fuzzy-Set methodology. Next, a more detailed introduction of Fuzzy-Set methods (fs/QCA) is followed. This study suggests that fs/QCA is a unique and useful method for comparative social policy. It advances quantitative comparative analysis by in interpreting attributes as a configuration. By applying Fuzzy-Set logic and the principle of calibration, it advances qualitative analysis by permitting theoretically-informed concepts to the quantified.

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.

Mahoney, James and Gary Goertz. 2006. "A Tale of Two Cultures: Contrasting Quantitative and Qualitative Research". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-37. Published online 30 January 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/MahoneyGoertz2006.pdf.

Abstract: The quantitative and qualitative research traditions can be thought of as distinct cultures marked by different practices, beliefs, and norms. In this essay, we adopt this imagery toward the end of contrasting these research traditions across ten areas: (1) approaches to explanation, (2) conceptions of causation, (3) multivariate explanations, (4) equifinality, (5) scope and causal generalization, (6) case selection, (7) weighting observations, (8) substantively important cases, (9) lack of fit, and (10) concepts and measurement. We suggest that an appreciation of the alternative assumptions and goals of the traditions can help scholars avoid misunderstandings and contribute to more productive "cross-cultural" communication in political science.

Mahoney, James and Gary Goertz. 2004. "The Possibility Principle: Choosing Negative Cases in Comparative Research". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-18. Published online 30 January 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/MahoneyGoertz2004.pdf.
NB: Update of WP 2003-8.

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 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 is possible. Our discussion elaborates this principle and its implications for current debates about case selection and strategies of theory testing. Major points are illustrated with substantive examples from studies of revolution, economic growth, welfare states, and war.

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.

Mannewitz, Tom. 2011. "Two-Level Theories in QCA: A Discussion of Schneider and Wagemann's Two-Step Approach". COMPASSS WP Series 2011-64. Published online 20 April 2011.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Mannewitz2011.pdf.

Abstract: By the introduction of Qualitative Comparative Analysis Charles C. Ragin offered a middle way between case-oriented, qualitative studies and large-n, quantitative studies. It has enjoyed many improvements, among them Carsten Schneider's and Claudius Wagemann's two-step approach (cf. Schneider and Wagemann 2007; Schneider and Wagemann 2006; Schneider 2009) that can reduce the number of logical remainders, i.e. solve the problem of limited diversity, and make social scientific analyses more informative and hence more fruitful. This article aims at opening the methodologically innovative two-step approach for a broader scientific public: It argues for the use of the approach in every QCA study, i.e. also for the enquiry of necessary conditions, and shows, how this can be achieved. It introduces new classification criteria of conditions (next to remote and proximate ones) and shows how to grasp the contexts after step one in a logically manner - a hitherto unmentioned problem. However, the core point of the paper is the introduction of an application of the approach to Multi Value QCA.

Marx, Axel. 2006. "Towards more Robust Model Specification in QCA Results from a Methodological Experiment". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-43. Published online 30 June 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Marx2006.pdf.

Abstract: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a research technique which was developed by Charles C. Ragin and has been applied in several studies that appeared in major sociological journals. Recently, QCA has been criticized concerning the validity of the models it generates. Lieberson has hypothesized that QCA is unable to distinguish real from random data. In other words, it is argued that QCA always finds a model even on the basis of random data. The paper addresses this issue through a methodological experiment. It uses randomly created data-matrices to show that QCA can make a distinction between real and random data. However, it only does so under certain conditions namely when the proportion of variables on cases goes below a certain threshold, which differs as a function of the combination of variables on cases. Secondly, it argues that there is an upper-limit to the number of variables which can be used in a QCA-analysis. Both limiting conditions are the result of the problem of uniqueness which is a consequence of the use of Boolean algebra and have not yet been addressed in the literature. Five implications for comparative case research-design and QCA are discussed.

Marx, Axel and Jan Dombrecht. 2004. "The Organisational Antecedents of Repetitive Strain Injuries: A Systematic Comparative Case Analysis of Assembly, Sorting and Packaging Jobs". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-25. Published online 26 August 2004.
NB: Published in Journal of Business Research, see bibliography.

Abstract: The paper presents a specific research-design - systematic comparative case analysis - to analyse the impact of organisational characteristics on individual level outcomes. A systematic comparative case analysis consists of an across case and within case analysis of a limited set of comparable cases. Across case analysis or Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) aims to identify similarities and differences between configurations of explanatory variables. Within case analysis aims to identify the causal mechanisms which link configurations to outcomes. Systematic comparative case analysis is applied to a research question on the organisational antecedents of repetitive strain injuries of the wrist in highly repetitive, non-fragmented and simple jobs. In total, 16 cases (each consisting on average of 15 workers) were analysed.

Marx, Axel and Hans Peeters. 2004. "Win for Life: An Empirical Exploration of the Social Consequences of Introducing a Basic Income". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-29. Published online 22 December 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/MarxPeeters2004.pdf.

Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. First of all, the paper discusses why, how, and to what extent, natural experiments such as lotteries can contribute to research which empirically explores possible social consequences of the introduction of a Basic Income. The second aim is to focus on the question of what, if anything, happens after the introduction of a Basic Income. The paper is structured in three parts. The first part of the paper addresses the question of why natural experiments constitute an interesting research-strategy. Via a comparison with a genuine experiment a theoretical case is made to conduct lottery research, which has some distinctive strengths vis-à-vis an experiment. The second part of the paper discusses an ongoing pilot-project which investigates the consequences of winning the Belgian lottery game Win for Life (unconditional lifelong monthly allowance of 1.000 euro). It is assessed to what extent this game represents a good proxy for a Basic Income and what conclusions can be drawn from it. In addition, the results of a pilot-project are discussed using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). A specific issue of model-selection in a QCA-type of analysis is also addressed. In a third part, a proposal for the extension of lottery research is suggested.

Meuer, Johannes and Christian Rupietta. 2015. "Qualifying "Fit": The Performance Dynamics of Firms' Change Tracks through Organizational Configurations". COMPASSS WP Series 2015-81. Published online 14 July 2015.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/MeuerRupietta2015.pdf.

Abstract: Organizational configurations, sets of firms with similarities in a number of essential characteristics, provide important insights into the synergies inherent to certain combinations of structural attributes and the performance effects of firms' retention of, adaptation to, or decoupling from high-performing configurations. The fundamental assumption is that the better a firm's "fit" with an ideal type configuration, the higher its performance. Although configurations are multidimensional constructs, researchers often simplify the dynamics of structural changes of configurations and the movement of firms within and between them. This simplification risks mis-specifying the organizational changes necessary for firms to achieve high performance. Using a mix of set-theoretic and econometric methods, we analyze a balanced panel of 244 Swiss firms in 2005, 2008, and 2011. We identify four temporally stable high-performing configurations: the "professional service firm," the "organic," the "mechanistic," and the "small bureaucracy," and demonstrate that even within this relatively short period, firms are exceptionally versatile in their change tracks. Thus high-performing configurations appear enduring not despite but because of firms' movements through these configurations. Furthermore, we demonstrate the complexity of the fit-performance association and argue that firms with a good fit will not only benefit from implementing an efficient yet firm-unspecific organizational structure, but will - through this configuration - additionally improve their ability to exploit inimitable firm-specific resources.

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.

Nelson, Kenneth. 2004. "The Last Resort. Determinants of Generosity of Means-Tested Minimum Income Protection in Welfare Democracies". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-21. Published online 25 May 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Nelson2004.pdf.

Abstract: This study evaluates institutional linkages between different types of social security programs in eighteen welfare states in the early 1990s. The purpose is to analyze the determinants of cross-national variations in the level of minimum income protection. Three hypotheses of an institutional relationship between social insurance and the generosity of minimum income protection are tested by means of OLS-regression, qualitative comparative analysis and fuzzy set analysis. From an economic point of view it is hypothesized that the impact of social insurance on the generosity of minimum income protection is mediated through its effects on the costs for means-tested benefits. From a political perspective, the hypothesis is that this impact derives from the degree to which social policies promote cross-class interests in support for the welfare state. Finally, from a strictly institutional perspective, the hypothesis is that social insurance sets certain upper limits to the level of means-tested benefits, which determine the possibilities of raising the value of minimum income protection. The empirical analyses show that not all aspects of social insurance are of equal importance in explaining cross-national variations in the level of minimum income protection. The most important aspect seems to be the degree to which social insurance provides income security, which supports the middle-class inclusion hypothesis on institutional dependencies between different tiers of the social security system.

Palm, Trineke. 2011. "Embedded in Social Cleavages: An Explanation of the Variation in Timing of Women's Suffrage". COMPASSS WP Series 2011-65. Published online 27 June 2011.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Palm2011.pdf.
NB: Published in Scandinavian Political Studies, see bibliography

Abstract: Under which conditions did introduction of women's suffrage occur before World War I (early), and when only after World War II (late)? This paper analyzes necessary and sufficient conditions for several cleavages to explain both early and late introduction of women's suffrage in 14 Western European countries: the religious, ethnic-linguistic, class and sectoral cleavage. This way the study makes a threefold contribution. First, it tests Stein Rokkan's cleavage theory, which focuses on existing cleavages in society to explain variation in democratization. Second, this study adds a structural dimension to agency-based studies on the role of the women's movement, which helps to explain why some womenÕs movement had a much earlier success than others. Finally, this paper advances the democratization literature that takes the timing of the introduction of manhood suffrage as a proxy for the timing of the introduction of women's suffrage. This proxy is problematic as an early introduction of manhood suffrage does not necessarily mean an early introduction of women's suffrage. Based on fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), the paper shows that the absence of an ethnic-linguistic cleavage is a necessary condition for an early introduction of women's suffrage. Moreover, the fuzzy-set analysis highlights that 1) the absence of a religious cleavage combined with a class cleavage OR 2) a sectoral cleavage combined with the absence of a class cleavage is sufficient for an early introduction of women's suffrage. Concerning a late introduction of women's suffrage it is 1) the combination of a class cleavage with a religious cleavage OR 2) the presence of an ethnic-linguistic cleavage that prove to be sufficient. Since all 14 countries have high membership in one of these pathways, fsQCA confirms the strong explanatory power of cleavage theory.

Pattyn, Valérie. 2012. "Why Organizations (do not) evaluate: A Search for Necessary and Sufficient Conditions". COMPASSS WP Series 2012-70. Published online 8 May 2012.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Pattyn2012.pdf.

Abstract: The wide acceptance of evaluation in this evidence-based society might hide significant variation in the extent of evaluation activeness between public sector organizations. In explaining these differences, evidence is only fragmentally available. Admittedly, multiple explanatory factors can be identified in the evaluation community, mainly in the evaluation capacity building literature. Yet, common to the practical character of the field, insights are mainly of anecdotic nature and have seldom been systematically tested. Thus far, the only certainty is that "contingency" matters. The inherently contingent nature of evaluation practices may not discourage us, however, from collecting more systematic insight in explaining differences in the extent of evaluation activeness. It is not clear, indeed, to which degree the contingency reigns. The question is whether more parsimonious patterns can nonetheless be discerned, when attacking the complexity. The present paper takes up this challenge. Via a systematic comparison of 27 public sector organizations of the Flemish administration (Belgium) through the application of several configurational comparative techniques (MSDO/MDSO & csQCA), the analysis identifies a range of necessary and sufficient (combinations of) conditions for the (non)conduct of evaluations.

Quaranta, Mario. 2010. "Concept Structures and Fuzzy Set Theory: A Proposal for Concept Formation and Operationalization". COMPASSS WP Series 2010-62. Published online 16 November 2010.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Quaranta2010.pdf.

Abstract: Concept formation strategies can be divided in positivist or interpretivist approaches. The first relies on classification and taxonomy strategies as tools for concept formation, while the second draws on hermeneutics and uses the ideal type for the definition of concepts. I argue that both have limits concerning concept formation. The positivist approach has strong naturalist assumptions, which can be inadequate to take into account the contingency of the empirical world. By contrast, the interpretivist one is very focused on the historical specificity of concepts, which may lead to their inapplicability. A solution to these problems comes from fuzzy set theory. This holds a potential for concept formation because it has as its main strengths the possibility of configurational thinking and the use of the truth table. Concepts can be built including all the possible attributes into a table and this can have several advantages. Fuzzy set theory also contributes to the creation of partial concepts, representing configurations or sub-types. In this paper, I develop this strategy, illustrating, first, the weaknesses and the strengths of the classical approaches. Then, I discuss the ontology and logic behind fuzzy set theory and demonstrate that it can be a very useful approach to concept formation. In the end, I test applying this strategy to the concept of political participation.

Ragin, Charles. 2007. "Fuzzy Sets: Calibration Versus Measurement". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-44. Published online 25 January 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Ragin2007.pdf.

Abstract: This essay explores the connections between measurement and calibration in the social sciences and addresses its long-standing neglect. My starting point is the contrast between conventional approaches to measurement in quantitative and qualitative social research. After sketching common measurement practices in both types of research, I argue that a useful way for social scientists to incorporate measurement calibration into their research is through the use of fuzzy sets. In order to use fuzzy sets effectively, researchers must assess the degree of membership of cases in well defined sets (e.g., degree of membership in the set of "developed countries"). This requirement forces researchers to attend to the issue of calibration and provides additional motivation for them to explore the conceptual underpinnings of their measures. Fuzzy sets resonate with the measurement concerns of qualitative researchers, where the goal often is to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant variation--that is, to interpret it--and with the measurement concerns of quantitative researchers, where the goal is the precise placement of cases relative to each other. The second half of this essay sketches a technique for calibrating conventional interval- and ratio-scale variables according to external standards. In the examples provided, the external standard used is a qualitative assessment of the degree to which cases with given scores on a conventional interval-scale measure are members of a target set. A simple estimation technique rescales the interval-scale measure so that it conforms to these qualitative assessments. The end product of this procedure is the calibration of the degree of membership of cases in sets, which in turn is suitable for fuzzy-set and other types of analysis. The examples illustrate the responsiveness of this calibration technique to the researcher's qualitative assessments of cases. While calibration in the social sciences is unlikely ever to match the sophistication of calibration in the physical sciences, the technique of qualitative calibration presented here is an important first step.

Ragin, Charles. 2004. "From Fuzzy Sets to Crisp Truth Tables". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-28. Published online 7 December 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Ragin2004.pdf.
NB: Update of WP 2004-26.

Abstract: One limitation of the truth table approach is that it is designed for causal conditions are simple presence/absence dichotomies (i.e., Boolean or "crisp" sets). Many of the causal conditions that interest social scientists, however, vary by level or degree. For example, while it is clear that some countries are democracies and some are not, there are many in-between cases. These countries are not fully in the set of democracies, nor are they fully excluded from this set. Fortunately, there is a well-developed mathematical system for addressing partial membership in sets, fuzzy-set theory. Section 2 of this paper provides a brief introduction to the fuzzy-set approach, building on Ragin (2000). Fuzzy sets are especially powerful because they allow researchers to calibrate partial membership in sets using values in the interval between 0 (nonmembership) and 1 (full membership) without abandoning core set theoretic principles, for example, the subset relation. Ragin (2000) demonstrates that the subset relation is central to the analysis of multiple conjunctural causation, where several different combinations of conditions are sufficient for the same outcome.

Ragin, Charles. 2004. "From Fuzzy Sets to Crisp Truth Tables". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-26. Published online 6 September 2004.
NB: an updated version is available as WP 2004-28.

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.

Abstract: -

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.

Ragin, Charles and John Sonnett. 2004. "Between Complexity and Parsimony: Limited Diversity, Counterfactual Cases, and Comparative Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-23. Published online 10 July 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/RaginSonnett2004.pdf.

Abstract: Counterfactual analysis has a long and distinguished history in comparative research. To some, counterfactual analysis is central to comparative inquiry because such research typically embraces only a handful of empirical cases (Fearon 1991). If there are only a few instances (e.g., of revolution), then researchers, of necessity, must compare empirical cases to hypothetical cases. The affinity between counterfactual analysis and comparative research, however, derives not from its focus on small Ns, but from its configurational nature. Case-oriented explanations of outcomes are often combinatorial in nature, stressing specific configurations of causal conditions. Rather than focus on the net effects of causal conditions, case-oriented explanations emphasize their combined effects. To support an argument emphasizing combinations of causal conditions, it is necessary for researchers to compare cases that are closely matched with each other. The ideal comparison is between pairs of cases that differ on only one causal condition (Mill 1843). Such comparisons help researchers establish whether or not a specific causal condition is a integral part of the combination of conditions that generates the outcome in question. It is very difficult to match empirical cases in this manner, however, due to the limited diversity of empirical social phenomena. In this paper, we discuss the impact of limited diversity on comparative case-oriented research. We show how limited diversity is conceived in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA; see Ragin 1987, 2000), and link QCA strategies for addressing limited diversity to counterfactual analysis. We distinguish two kinds of counterfactual cases, "difficult" and "easy", and demonstrate procedures for incorporating "simplifying assumptions" into QCA based on the analysis of "easy" counterfactual cases. We illustrate these methods with comparative data on international fishing regimes collected by Olav Schram Stokke (2004).

Ragin, Charles and Sarah Strand. 2007. "Using QCA to Study Causal Order: Comment on Caren and Panofsky (2005)". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-45. Published online 25 January 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/RaginStrand2007.pdf.
NB: Published in Sociological Methods & Research, see bibliography

Abstract: The goal of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) is to identify the different combinations of causally relevant conditions linked to an outcome. The researcher typically focuses on a qualitative outcome and seeks to identify the different conjunctural conditions that generate it. In this way QCA allows for causal complexity--for the possibility that no single cause may be either necessary or INUS sufficient. Instead causes are viewed as conditions: insufficient but necessary components of unnecessary but sufficient combinations of conditions (Mackie 1965). Caren and Panofsky (2005) seek to advance QCA by demonstrating that it can be used to study causal conditions that occur in sequences and introduce a technique they call TQCA (temporal qualitative comparative analysis). In their sequence formulation the causal conjuncture is a of conditions or events. While we applaud their effort, in this comment we seek to clarify aspects of their analysis and to present a generalization of the approach that is more amenable to truth table analysis and use of existing software, fsQCA (Ragin 1987; 2000; Ragin, Drass, and Davies 2006). Our first task is to correct what appear to be errors of omission in their analysis. Specifically, they seem to have stopped the process of logical minimization short of completion. We show that it is possible to produce a logically simpler solution than the one they present, while still remaining true to the principles they advocate. Our second task is to demonstrate how to use fsQCA to implement a generalization of their procedure. This procedure takes advantage of an under-utilized feature of fsQCA software, namely, the facility in crisp-set analyses to code a causal condition not only as "present" versus "absent," but also as "irrelevant." The coding of "irrelevant" is especially important in analyses of event sequences, where event order is relevant only if the events actually occur. Thus, the question, "Which came first, event A or event B?" is relevant only if both A and B are coded "present."

Rohwer, Götz. 2008. "Qualitative Comparative Analysis: A Discussion of Interpretations". COMPASSS WP Series 2008-54. Published online 6 November 2008.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Rohwer2008.pdf.
NB: Published in European Sociological Review, see bibliography

Abstract: This paper (which is part of an ongoing project that investigates possibilities to apply statistical (or more general: formal) notions and methods to narrative data) tries to understand an approach proposed by Charles C. Ragin: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).

Schneider, Carsten and Bernard Grofman. 2006. "It Might Look like a Regression Equation... But it's Not! An Intuitive Approach to the Representation of QCA and FS/QCA Results". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-39. Published online 22 May 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/SchneiderGrofman2006.pdf.

Abstract: Scholars who have presented their QCA and fs/QCA results in conference papers or journal articles will most likely have encountered the problem that an audience not trained in these approaches tends to read the notations and graphs displaying the results as if they stemmed from standard statistical techniques such as linear regression or factor analysis. This leads to gross misunderstandings, since the underlying mathematical models and the epistemology are different, and because the notations and graphs used in QCA und fs/QCA carry a different meaning than similar looking ones in standard statistical approaches. Thus readers may think they know what's going in QCA analyses when they really don't. The main aim of this paper is to offer seven ways, some new to this paper, of presenting results in QCA and fs/QCA that are designed to make the interpretability of results from these methods clearer and more intuitive: (1) truth tables; (2) solution formulas; (3) parameters of fit; (4) Venn diagrams; (5) dendograms; (6) x-y plots; and (7) membership scores for solution terms - the latter two only appropriate for fuzzy set QCA. We show that each form tends to be confused with one or more presentational forms commonly used in standard statistical techniques, its "false friend(s)", and thus misinterpreted; and so we try to clarify the implications of each of these presentational tools by pointing out what they do not mean. Generally speaking, the presentation of results generated with any kind of method applied in comparative social research has multiple purposes, not all of which can always be achieved simultaneously in one presentational form. In grosso modo, the presentation of results aims at: (a) displaying relations between variables; (b) highlighting descriptive or causal accounts for specific (groups of) cases; (c) expressing the fit of the result obtained with the data at hand. Trying to accomplish all three of these purposes is particularly important for QCA and fs/QCA because they have been explicitly introduced as methods for bridging the gap between qualitative (case-oriented) and quantitative (variableoriented) approaches of social scientific research. While the individual presentational forms serve one or more (but never all) of the three above-mentioned purposes, using a combination of them in a fashion that covers all three bases allows us to display the full potential and logic of QCA and fs/QCA methods.

Schneider, Carsten and Claudius Wagemann. 2005. "Reducing Complexity in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Remote and Proximate Factors and the Consolidation of Democracy". COMPASSS WP Series 2005-35. Published online 7 November 2005.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/SchneiderWagemann2005.pdf.
NB: Published in European Journal of Political Research, see bibliography

Abstract: Comparative methods based on set theoretic relationships, such as 'fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis' (fs/QCA) represent an useful tool for dealing with complex causal hypotheses in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions under the constraint of a mediumsized number of cases. However, real world research situations might make the application of fs/QCA difficult in two respects, namely, with regard to the complexity of the results and the phenomenon of limited diversity. We suggest a two-step approach as one possibility to mitigate these problems. After introducing the difference between remote and proximate factors, the application of a two-step fs/QCA approach is demonstrated analysing the causes of the consolidation of democracy. We find that different paths lead to consolidation but all of them are characterised by a fit of the institutional mix chosen to the societal context in terms of power dispersion. Hence, we demonstrate that the application of fs/QCA in a twostep manner helps to formulate and test equifinal and conjunctural hypotheses in medium-size N comparative analyses and, thus, to contribute to an enhanced understanding of social phenomena.

Schneider, Carsten and Claudius Wagemann. 2002. "How to Draw Causal Inference (Despite) Using QCA: the 'Two-Step, Multi-Equation FS/QCA Approach'". COMPASSS WP Series 2002-1. Published online 31 October 2002.
An updated version is available as WP 2005-35.

Abstract: -

Skaaning, Svend-Erik. 2005. "Respect for Civil Liberties in Post-Communist Countries: A Multi-Methodological Test of Structural Explanations". COMPASSS WP Series 2005-34. Published online 12 October 2005.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Skaaning2005.pdf.
NB: Published in Journal of Business Research, see bibliography

Abstract: This paper aims at uncovering factors explaining extent of membership in the group of liberal polities among the post-communist countries. The empirical examination makes use of three methodological tools - crisp-set method, fuzzy-set method, and OLS-regression - associated with two different approaches - diversity-oriented and variable-oriented - to test theoretically different structural conditions/variables supposed to facilitate the development of civil liberties. Six factors are included in the analysis: ethno-religious diversity, natural resources, early development, and three modernization indicators, i.e., GDP/cap., education and agricultural employment. The results diverge considerable between different approaches, but minimally between the QCA methods connected to the same approach. The OLS-regression shows that early development, ethnic diversity, and education are significantly correlated with civil liberty; education, though, not in the theoretically expected direction. On the other hand, the crisp-set analysis, using logical cases in the reduction procedure, points out early developed and not early developed as a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence and absence of a liberal regime, respectively. Finally, the fuzzy-set analysis, very similarly, emphasizes early development as a sufficient condition for liberal regimes in the post-communist context, if an inclusion of all simplifying assumptions is allowed, and three paths to a not liberal regime are uncovered, that is, the conjunction of the necessary condition not early developed with either not wealthy, not independent of natural resources, or not low agricultural employment rate. Thus, early development is undoubtedly identified as the most important factor in the explanation of the respect for civil liberty in post-communist countries. Regarding the QCA methods, they appear to be valuable supplements and at times even alternatives to standard statistical tests - the fuzzy-set method probably somewhat more than the crisp-set method - especially when the case number is rather low and when the relationship between the phenomenon to be explained and the explanatory factors is characterized by multiple conjunctural causation and necessity and/or sufficiency.

Spreitzer, Astrid and Sakura Yamasaki. 2004. "Beyond Methodological Tenets - The Worlds of QCA and SNA and their Benefit to Policy Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2004-27. Published online 11 October 2004.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/SpreitzerYamasaki2004.pdf.

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to present combinations of Social Network Analysis (SNA) and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and their benefit to Policy Analysis. We think that QCA and SNA are particularly suited to explain complex macro-social phenomena, just like policies. SNA gives access to a set of actors and the relationships between them. The main goal is to model these relationships in order to study action and structure in their mutual dependence (Wasserman and Faust 1997). QCA on the other hand helps to uncover regularities across cases while maintaining within-case complexity; it offers "multiple conjunctural explanations" (Ragin 1987, 2003). First we expose our understanding of Policy Analysis and the problems research on the topic faces. The second part of the paper focuses on SNA and QCA as two approaches, which stand in between of the conventional qualitative/quantitative logic of research. Therefore we will explain the main principles of the methods but also show the communities of the two, the underlying meta-theoretical assumptions, the opportunities they offer to appear as supplementing to each other. Finally, it is to explore, how the combination of SNA and QCA helps to explain policies.

Stokke, Olav. 2007. "Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Shaming, and International Regime Effectiveness". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-48. Published online 3 October 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Stokke2007.pdf.
NB: Published in Journal of Business Research, see bibliography; update of WP 2003-5.

Abstract: The article presents and applies a set-theoretic comparative technique, qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), to a string of case studies on shaming as a strategy for improving the effectiveness of international regimes for resource management. This technique is particularly attractive when the number of cases available is greater than the researcher can reliably handle by narrative comparison, yet too low to support statistical procedures. QCA can capture causal conjunctions, even in small-to-intermediate-N situations, primarily because it permits the introduction of simplifying assumptions in a way that maintains a clear connection to the underlying cases - thus allowing substantive evaluation of their plausibility. A more recent fuzzy-set version lifts two limitations of the crisp-set version of QCA examined here (i.e., that variables must be dichotomous, and that the analysis makes no allowance for measurement error and non-modeled causality).

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.

Abstract: -

Thiem, Alrik. 2015. "Standards of Good Practice and the Methodology of Necessary Conditions in Qualitative Comparative Analysis: A Critical View on Schneider and Wagemann's Theory-Guided/Enhanced Standard Analysis". COMPASSS WP Series 2015-83. Published online 14 November 2015.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Thiem2015.pdf.

Abstract: The analysis of necessary conditions for some outcome of interest has long been one of the main preoccupations of scholars in all disciplines of the social sciences. In this connection, the introduction of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in the late 1980s has revolutionized the way research on necessary conditions has been carried out. Standards of good practice for QCA have long demanded that the results of preceding tests for necessity constrain QCA's core process of Boolean minimization so as to enhance the quality of the solution. Schneider and Wagemann's Theory-Guided/Enhanced Standard Analysis (T/ESA) is currently being adopted by applied researchers as the new state of the art in this respect. In drawing on Schneider and Wagemann's own illustrative data example and a meta-analysis of 36 truth tables across 21 published studies that have adhered to current standards of good practice in QCA, I demonstrate, however, that T/ESA and its methodological predecessors defeat their purpose once a hitherto unacknowledged bias in tests of necessity relations is corrected. In conclusion, I urge that methodologists of QCA stop misleading applied researchers by declaring their latest ideas to be standards of good practice before these have undergone sufficient evaluation by other researchers.

Thiem, Alrik. 2010. "Set-Relational Fit and the Formulation of Transformational Rules in fsQCA". COMPASSS WP Series 2010-61. Published online 4 October 2010.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Thiem2010.pdf.

Abstract: Interest in the application of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) has increased markedly among political scientists in recent years. Although fsQCA is often contrasted with regression analysis, questions of functional form have thus far been hardly addressed. However, functional form matters as much in the former tool kit of social enquiry as it does in the latter. This article demonstrates how coverage as a measure of set-relational fit can guide the formulation of transformational rules similar to the use of the coefficient of determination in regression-analytic tests of functional misspecification. Interaction effects between membership function and crossover anchor choice on coverage are analysed in the context of set-theoretic relations of sufficiency between condition and outcome. Depending on the relative location of the crossover anchor, changes in the transformational rules by which base variables are calibrated can increase or decrease coverage similar to the effect of changes in functional specification on the coefficient of determination. Most importantly, significant reductions in uncovered membership relative to total membership provide an explicit and transparent foundation on which calibration strategies can be based.

Ton, Giel. 2015. "Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis to Explore Outcome Patterns of Grant Support to Farmer Organisations in Bolivia". COMPASSS WP Series 2015-82. Published online 19 October 2015.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Ton2015.pdf.

Abstract: We used Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to study the combinations of factors that are consistently related to success or failure of grants given to farmer groups. Using data from a sample of 26 grant beneficiaries, we explored whether baseline characteristics of the organisations related to group sales, organisational scale and organisational strength could predict the intended outcomes of the grant system: improved access to markets for member products, increased organisational capacity, and more income to pay organisational expenses. We explain the calibration process used to assign each organisation to (fuzzy-set) conditions, and the iterative process of QCA to explore the resulting truthtable for plausible causal configurations that may help to target grant funds. We use the ambiguities in the evaluation of success or failure of certain organisations to verify the robustness of the analysis under real-world conditions of measurement error. We detected some single conditions consistently related with success, especially if they were sourcing raw material from members or the spot market, and could triangulate these patterns with logistic regression. The grants to the older, larger and stronger organisations were consistently unsuccessful, because the grant resulted in under-scaled investments in secondary activities that were discontinued after pilot experiences. Finally, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of QCA as a method for explorative research and causal inference.

van Kessel, Stijn. 2015. "Up to the Challenge? The Electoral Performance of Challenger Parties after their First Period in Power". COMPASSS WP Series 2015-84. Published online 15 December 2015.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/vanKessel2015.pdf.

Abstract: Across Europe, a substantial amount of parties have appeared which are characterised by a criticism of mainstream ideologies or the political elites more generally. Some of these parties have even succeeded in securing executive power. This paper examines the conditions underlying the electoral survival and demise of a broad range of 'challenger parties' after their first term in office. The central puzzle is why some newly governing challenger parties were able to survive reasonably well in the subsequent parliamentary election, while others failed to shield themselves from the electoral hazards of office. The paper presents the results of a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 25 newly governing parties across Europe. It shows that survivors did not necessarily leave a great impression in office, but that they were generally characterised by a higher degree of organisational cohesion and rootedness than their less successful counterparts.

Vink, Maarten and Olaf van Vliet. 2007. "Not Quite Crisp, Not Yet Fuzzy?... Assessing the Potentials and Pitfalls of Multi-Value QCA ". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-52. Published online 27 November 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/VinkVanVliet2007.pdf.
NB: Published in Field Methods, see bibliography

Abstract: This paper assesses the strengths and shortcomings of multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (mvQCA) a comparative technique for small to medium size datasets that has been integrated in the TOSMANA software developed by Lasse Cronqvist. Its main difference with Charles Ragin's 'crisp-set' QCA (csQCA) which only allows for conditions with 0 or B values, is that the dataset can also contain causal conditions with three or more categories. MvQCA thus avoids relatively crude dichotomization and arguably better captures the richness of information of the raw data. Unlike 'fuzzy-set' QCA (fsQCA), developed by Ragin to go beyond the classic dichotomous approach, mvQCA is still based on dichotomous outcomes and applies Boolean minimization principles in a similar way to csQCA. Its major advantage, according to its proponents, is that it deals better with the classic QCA problem of contradictory configurations where cases with the same explanatory characteristics display different outcomes and in principle cannot be taken into account for logical minimization. We discuss the logical status of mvQCA, its impact on limited diversity, and present a re-analysis of a recent paper to show how mvQCA uses threshold-setting to solve contradictions.

Vis, Barbara. 2006. "States of Welfare or States of Workfare? A Fuzzy-Set Ideal Type Analysis of Major Welfare State Restructuring in Sixteen Advanced Capitalist Democracies, 1985-2002". COMPASSS WP Series 2006-42. Published online 21 June 2006.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/Vis2006.pdf.
NB: Published in Policy & Politics

Abstract: Did welfare states change radically from welfare towards workfare or was such a shift absent and was welfare state change regime specific instead? This paper assesses this question for sixteen advanced capitalist democracies for the period 1985-2002, using an innovative method, fuzzy-set ideal type analysis. This study shows that the mainstream welfare state literature's prediction of no radical and regime specific change holds for most countries. The regulation literature's prediction of radical change from welfare towards workfare is supported fully only in Ireland and moderately in Denmark. Furthermore, interesting other patterns are revealed in six countries.

Wagemann, Claudius and Carsten Schneider. 2007. "Standards of Good Practice in Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Fuzzy-Sets". COMPASSS WP Series 2007-51. Published online 4 November 2007.
Available from: http://www.compasss.org/wpseries/WagemannSchneider2007.pdf.

Abstract: Over the last couple of years, we witness an increasing curiosity for a methodological family, generally identified with its acronym, 'QCA'. This stands for 'Qualitative Comparative Analysis', which was introduced for the first time to a wider public by the American social scientist Charles Ragin in 1987 (1987). Since then, QCA has been modified, extended and improved several times (Ragin 2000; Ragin 2003b; Ragin 2006a Ragin 2006b; and Ragin and Sonnett 2004). These developments have contributed to a better applicability of QCA to empirical social scientific research questions and to its prominence within the discipline. In this article, we will, first, present the 'state of the art' of QCA and will introduce both its basic principles and the different variants of this group of 'Configurational Comparative Methods' (a term coined by Rihoux and Ragin 2007a, which might probably substitute 'Qualitative Comparative Analysis' in the long run). After this, we will propose a list of criteria for a 'good' QCA analysis. We hope that our contribution can be a guideline for QCA users as to which aspects have to be considered when carrying out QCA analyses in order to render them not only technically correct, but also to make the best out of the analytically relevant information one can generate with QCA. Furthermore, the standard of good practice which we propose can also be a helpful instrument for readers and commentators when they have to evaluate empirical analyses based on QCA techniques.

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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