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Chapter 1 | Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as an Approach

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Goals of This Chapter

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Locate QCA as an approach and grasp its key epistemological foundations
  • Understand how and why QCA is “case oriented” and how one should use QCA to engage in a dialogue between cases and theories
  • Understand the specific conception of causality conveyed in QCA—multiple conjunctural causation— and its practical consequences
  • Reflect on the usefulness of QCA to reach a certain level of generalization beyond the observed cases
  • Grasp key common features of QCA techniques in terms of formalization, replication, transparency, and different types of uses
  • Become accustomed to some key technical terms and use the appropriate, QCA-specific terminology

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