Configurational Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Coincidence Analysis 26-30 September 2016, University of Konstanz, Germany


Event Date:

September 26, 2016 - September 30, 2016

Opportunity Cover Image - Configurational Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Coincidence Analysis 26-30 September 2016, University of Konstanz, Germany

Short Seminar Description

This workshop seminar offers an intensive 1-week introduction to causal modelling with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Coincidence Analysis (CNA), the two most prominent configurational comparative methods (CCMs) of causal dis- covery. Participants will be guided through the nuts and bolts of configurational comparative research, cutting-edge methodological innovations, and they will also learn how to make the most of current software for QCA and CNA.
From the philosophical roots of regularity theories of causation, over the procedural protocol of QCA, to the empirical analysis of causal chain structures, this seminar will go way beyond the material taught in other QCA courses, enabling partici- pants to perform QCA in a correct and sophisticated manner. It will be shown, for example, why the vast majority of past QCA studies have run the risk of failing to find the underlying causal model, and why the conservative solution in QCA is not conservative at all. The seminar also provides an introduction to CNA—a CCM geared towards uncovering causal chains and common cause structures. Last but not least, students will learn why recent high-profile critiques discouraging the use of QCA lack traction. Individual consultation sessions will be offered in addition to help participants with the methodological aspects of their own research projects.
The two instructors are among the most active researchers in the field, publishing and teaching at the forefront of configurational research. As authors of the most powerful software for QCA and CNA currently available, they also have an unri- valled familiarity with these tools, which will be made ample use of throughout the seminar.

Instructor Details

Michael Baumgartner is a Swiss National Science Foundation professor at the De- partment of Philosophy of the University of Geneva. His research focuses on ques- tions in the philosophy of science and logic, more specifically, on aspects of causa- tion and causal reasoning with QCA and CNA, regularity theories, interventionism, determinism, logical formalization, argument reconstruction/evaluation and mod- elling in the social sciences. He has published in journals such as the British Jour- nal for the Philosophy of Science, Comparative Political Studies, Dialectica, Erkennt- nis, Field Methods, Journal of Philosophical Logic, Sociological Methodology, Socio- logical Methods & Research, and Synthese. He has developed the method of CNA and is a co-author of the corresponding cna package for the R environment. For further biographical details, see his Homepage.

Alrik Thiem is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Geneva. The main part of his work addresses questions of method- ology and application in the field of empirical social research methods, primarily configurational ones such as Coincidence Analysis, Event Structure Analysis, and Qualitative Comparative Analysis. He has taught nationally and internationally on QCA, and has published in numerous journals, including Comparative Politi- cal Studies, Evaluation Review, Field Methods, International Journal of Social Re- search Methodology, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Political Analysis, Quality & Quantity, Social Science Computer Review, Sociological Methodology and Sociolog- ical Methods & Research. He is the author of the QCApro package, and a co-author of the QCA package as well as the cna package for the R environment.

Prerequisite Knowledge

Formally, the course requires no prior knowledge of configurational methods, but it will be intensive for absolute beginners. Users with an intermediate to advanced knowledge of QCA as taught in standard textbooks and methods courses will learn much they did not know before. Participants at all levels of knowledge will benefit from the instructors’ current research, a significant part of which will be broached during the course. Some basic knowledge of R, or at least programming more generally, will be helpful but it is not essential.

Date and Venue

26-30 September, 2016; University of Konstanz, Germany. Days 1 and 2 will take place in room D247, days 3 to 5 in room E403.


For students that are not enrolled at the University of Konstanz, a course fee of e300 will be charged.


To register for the workshop, please send an e-mail to Please indicate your home institution, your position, and whether you have some experi- ence with QCA or CNA. Registrations will close on 31 August or once all places are filled.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction is English.

ECTS Points

Participants can obtain 4 ECTS points if they submit a short research paper (2000- 3000 words) within four weeks after the end of the course. It lies with participants to enquire at their home institution whether ECTS points earned at this workshop will be accepted. To participants who do not want to earn credits, a certificate of attendance will be issued at the end of the workshop. To participants who would like to earn credits, this certificate will be issued after successful completion of all course requirements.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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Publish Date
September 02, 2016
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