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Enhanced Qualitative and Multi-Method Research in Political Science

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ENHANCEDQMMR" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: KOELN
postcode: 50931

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙125˙575 €
 EC max contribution 1˙125˙575 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-05-01   to  2020-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET ZU KOELN DE (KOELN) coordinator 940˙262.00
2    UNIVERSITAET BREMEN DE (BREMEN) participant 185˙312.00


 Project objective

Over the last 20 years, qualitative methods in political science have developed rapidly on three dimen-sions. First, set theory was formulated as an alternative to what is called the quantitative worldview. Second, process tracing for the analysis of mechanisms evolved as a complement to the estimation of marginal effects. Process tracing has also been tied to Bayesianism as opposed to frequentism. Third, process tracing became an element of multi-method research (MMR), integrating it with frequentist statistics or Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).

An important element of the development of qualitative methods is its contrast with quantitative methods. At the same time, quantitative researchers critically commented on that development. The constant exchange has contributed to the progress of qualitative methods, but the debate has reached an impasse in some respects, or has pursued one line of development while neglecting others.

Building on state-of-the-art qualitative methods, ENHANCEDQMMR seeks to overcome this impasse and to explore new ground.It makes four significant contributions to the progress of standalone qualitative methods and as part of MMR. First, it examines experimentally how researchers decide between a set-relational and correlational view on causation and whether they can realize designs in accord with their initial decision. Second, it develops tools for sensitivity analyses, diagnostics, and the modeling of diverse data structures via QCA for strengthening QCA-based inference. Third, it com-pares the performance of QCA and regression analyses under simulated data-generating processes with the goal of generating comparative diagnostics, possibly allowing one to adjudicate between both methods in observational research. Fourth, it formulates standards for Bayesian MMR by combining Bayesian process tracing with Bayesian statistics and Bayesian QCA, respectively. The insights of the project will be implemented in freely available software.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Ingo Rohlfing, Christina Isabel Zuber
Check Your Truth Conditions!Clarifying the Relationship between Theories of Causation and Social Science Methods for Causal Inference
published pages: 4912411982615, ISSN: 0049-1241, DOI: 10.1177/0049124119826156
Sociological Methods & Research 2020-02-04
2020 Ingo Rohlfing
The Choice between Crisp and Fuzzy Sets in Qualitative Comparative Analysis and the Ambiguous Consequences for Finding Consistent Set Relations
published pages: 75-88, ISSN: 1525-822X, DOI: 10.1177/1525822X19896258
Field Methods 32/1 2020-02-04
2018 Ingo Rohlfing
Power and False Negatives in Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Foundations, Simulation and Estimation for Empirical Studies
published pages: 72-89, ISSN: 1047-1987, DOI: 10.1017/pan.2017.30
Political Analysis 26/01 2019-07-22
2016 Ingo Rohlfing
Why simulations are appropriate for evaluating Qualitative Comparative Analysis
published pages: 2073-2084, ISSN: 0033-5177, DOI: 10.1007/s11135-015-0251-8
Quality & Quantity 50/5 2019-07-22
2015 I. Rohlfing
Mind the gap: A review of simulation designs for Qualitative Comparative Analysis
published pages: , ISSN: 2053-1680, DOI: 10.1177/2053168015623562
Research & Politics 2/4 2019-07-22

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