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Successful workshop seminar at University of Konstanz

Posted 14/10/2016

From 26-30 September 2016, Michael Baumgartner and I led a workshop seminar titled "Configurational Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Coincidence Analysis".

Twenty participants from seven countries, including master students, PhD students, post-docs and professors, gathered at the University of Konstanz, which is located on the German shores of the beautiful Lake Constance (Bodensee), for an intensive one-week introduction to causal modelling with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Coincidence Analysis (CNA), the two most prominent configurational comparative methods (CCMs) of causal discovery.  

On five days, with a total of four sessions per day, Michael Baumgartner and I introduced the elements of Boolean algebra, the regularity theory of causation behind CCMs and their historical trajectory, the problems of causal inference with CCMs, the logic of Quine-McCluskey optimization, the fundamentals of using R, how to handle the QCApro software package, differences to other software for QCA, measures of fit and the problem of limited diversity, the three solution types of QCA, fuzzy-set theory and the variants of QCA, criticisms of QCA, the issue of model ambiguities, the use of QCA in multi-method research, the logic of causal chains and common cause structures, the motivation for CNA and how to use the cna software package. Although the programme was packed and demanding, participants kept asking very good questions throughout the course and we had several lively debates.

There is probably nothing more gratifying for instructors than to receive positive feedback from participants at the end of a course. Here's what some students have told us... 

"...it is the passion for it that both of you seem to have what made the course very inspiring for me."

"Thank you once again for the excellent summer school on QCA/CNA. What many revelations the week provided!"

"I would like to use the opportunity to thank you both for probably the best course of my PhD-life (I don't exaggerate). The content and format were not only very instructive, but also, and this is even more important, immensely inspiring."

In this spirit, we hope to see some of our participants turning what they have taken with them from our course into a successful PhD thesis or an article in a very good journal. If you are interested in the details of our course, click here.