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210142 UE Qualitative Comparative Research (2020W)

9.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

Die Lehrformate für das WS (digital, hybrid, vor Ort) befinden sich in Entwicklung. Die Lehrenden werden die geplante Organisationsform und Lehrmethodik auf ufind und Moodle bekannt geben. Aufgrund von Covid19 muss mit kurzfristigen Änderungen in Richtung digitaler Lehre gerechnet werden.

Nicht-prüfungsimmanente (n-pi) Lehrveranstaltung. Eine Anmeldung über u:space ist erforderlich. Mit der Anmeldung werden Sie automatisch für die entsprechende Moodle-Plattform freigeschaltet. Vorlesungen unterliegen keinen Zugangsbeschränkungen.

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Mit der Teilnahme an der Lehrveranstaltung verpflichten Sie sich zur Einhaltung der Standards guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis. Schummelversuche und erschlichene Prüfungsleistungen führen zur Nichtbewertung der Lehrveranstaltung (Eintragung eines 'X' im Sammelzeugnis).


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 35 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 09.10. 09:45 - 16:30 Seminarraum 1 (S1), NIG 2. Stock
Friday 23.10. 09:45 - 16:30 Seminarraum 1 (S1), NIG 2. Stock
Friday 06.11. 09:45 - 16:30 Seminarraum 1 (S1), NIG 2. Stock
Friday 20.11. 09:45 - 16:30 Seminarraum 1 (S1), NIG 2. Stock
Friday 04.12. 09:45 - 16:30 Seminarraum 1 (S1), NIG 2. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course provides an introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). QCA is a case-oriented comparative research method, which is gaining popularity in political science and beyond. It has been developed by the American sociologist Charles C. Ragin since the 1980s and is based on set theory, a branch of mathematical logic.

QCA is a method of analysis that explains social phenomena through configurations of necessary and sufficient causal conditions. It draws on comparative evidence and is considered to occupy a middle ground between in-depth ‘small-N’ research and quantitative 'Large-N' research.

The present course is a ‘crash course’ in QCA, which introduces participants to core concepts and terminology as well as to a software package. Students analyse examples of QCA-based empirical research and devise a simple study in the spirit of QCA, which they write up in the form of a term paper.


The course will be taught remotely via video conferences at the scheduled seminar hours. Participants can interact via videoconference, live chat and a Moodle forum. All assessments will be carried out digitally and study materials will be made available via Moodle.
Office hours will be held remotely via videoconference.

Assessment and permitted materials

Continuous assessment of student performance via multiple deliverables:

Written assignments:
• Summaries of core readings (20%)
• Term paper (50%)

Oral assignments (via video conference):
• Presentation of an empirical paper (15%)
• Presentation of an outline of the term paper (15%)

To participate meaningfully in this course, students require a PC or Laptop and a reliable Internet connection.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

This course is part of the mini-curriculum 'Qualitative Methods in Empirical Research'. (See https://politikwissenschaft.univie.ac.at/studium/erweiterungscurricula-politikwissenschaft/erweiterungscurriculum-qualitative-methoden-in-der-empirischen-forschung/). To enrol, students must have completed module 1 of the curriculum.

To pass, students must deliver all of the tasks specified above (see 'assessment'). The final grade is based on a weighted assessment of all deliverables. Detailed criteria for the assessment will be announced in the first session.

Attendance via video-conference is compulsory. The course is run in the form of blocked long sessions; a maximum of two hours (120 min) can be missed with the exception of the first session, which cannot be missed.

Teaching and readings are in English and students must be able to both give a presentation and prepare a term paper in English. The course will appeal to students who enjoy thinking about questions of causality in a formal-logical framework. No prior methods knowledge is assumed.

Examination topics

See assessment.

Reading list

Required reading:

• Ragin, C. & Amoroso, L. (2011). "Using Comparative Methods to Study Diversity". In: Constructing Social Research: The Unity and Diversity of Method. Thousand Oaks and London: Sage. 2nd Edition. pp 135-161.

• Selected sections from:

• Schneider, C. & Wagemann, C. (2012) Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences: A guide to qualitative comparative analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

• Selected empirical papers.

Recommended reading and resources:

• Ragin, C. (2014) The Comparative Method: Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

• Ragin, C. (2008) Redesigning Social Inquiry: Fuzzy Sets and Beyond. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.


Association in the course directory

Last modified: Tu 20.10.2020 21:09