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3rd ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques, 14-21 February 2014, Vienna

The annual ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques (WSMT) provides cutting-edge courses in the full span of qualitative and quantitative topics. A diverse range of experienced Instructors supported by dedicated Teaching Assistants instruct participants alongside a plenary programme designed to support academics at the start of their career.

Advanced Multi-method Research: Techniques and Practice

This course deals with multi-method research (MMR) as it is currently developed in the methodological literature (e.g., Lieberman’s nested analysis). The course builds on this development and focuses on the combination of case studies and process tracing with a large-n method and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and regression analysis in particular. (Which form of QCA (csQCA, fsQCA, mvQCA) and regression model (OLS, TS CS, etc.) is insignificant.) Participants combining case studies with another method such as social network analysis or experiments are also welcome. The goal of the course is to understand the different varieties in which MMR can be done. Moreover, we discuss the unique advantages and methodological and practical challenges confronted in implementing multi-method designs. Topics include concepts in the small-n and the large-n analysis, case selection for process tracing, and the compatibility of theoretical expectations and inferences oncausal effects and causal mechanisms. Methodological discussions are illustrated with examples from different fields of political science. At the end of the course, participants are able to realize their own MMR in a systematic manner and to critically evaluate published multi-method analyses.

Although mixed-method research is an enduring topic in the social sciences (e.g., Creswell and Piano 2011), multi-method research (MMR) more narrowly is a relatively new topic in the “US methods debate.” After longstanding antagonistic discussions about the pros and cons of small-n and large-n methods, we now find a growing consensus that each method has its distinct advantages and that they work best in combination with each other. This course builds on the debate about MMR and focuses on its unique advantages and challenges for empirical researchers seeking to combine two (or more) methods.

For more information, see the ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques.

07 Mar 2014

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