Microcredential ekomex: Advanced Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)


This 5-day course exposes participants to advanced methodological developments in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) that allow for further solidifying their results, and enables them to apply state-of-the-art set-theoretic analytic tools in R.

What Is This Course About?
This 5-day course introduces a series of advanced topics in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) that aim at further solidifying and deepening the understanding of the application of this method and the results produced by it. As QCA continues to evolve, the course exposes participants to its latest methodological developments and enables them to apply state-of-the-art set-theoretic analytic tools in R. The course starts by expanding on the problem of limited empirical diversity (i.e., when not all the configurations of conditions in the analysis are represented empirically) and discusses potential strategies for making good counterfactuals assumptions (within the so-called Enhanced Standard Analysis). Throughout the rest of the course, we discuss advanced analytic tools that can be used after a QCA result has been obtained. Among these, we look at set-theoretic robustness and sensitivity and introduce a QCA robustness check protocol, we discuss strategies for confronting situations when the data at hand contains clusters that are potentially analytically relevant, we discuss the use of set-theoretic theory-evaluation as a way of assessing theoretical hunches based on the results generated by QCA. Finally, we discuss set-theoretic multi-method research introducing guidelines for combining QCA with process-tracing in single or comparative case studies.

Learning Goals

  • Be able to perform enhanced QCA analyses according to the latest developments in terms of standards of good practice.
  • Be able to apply the relevant R software packages for analysing social science data with QCA.
  • Be able to solidify and enhance standard QCA analyses by a variety of advanced diagnostics and analysis tools.
  • Be able to better interpret and theoretically embed QCA results.

Assignments for the Course
Daily assignments (not graded) and a final take-home exercise consisting of the replication of a published QCA study.


  • 10:30-13:00h: synchronous elements of the course / office hours 60' and synchronous lab 90'.
  • The asynchronous and group exercises would be done by the students themselves in the second half of the day.

Recommended Readings for the Course

  • Oana, Ioana-Elena, Carsten Q. Schneider, and Eva Thomann. 2021. Qualitative Comparative Analysis Using R: A Beginner’s Guide. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Schneider, Carsten Q., and Claudius Wagemann. 2012. Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences: A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Schneider, Carsten Q.. Forthcoming. Set-Theoretic Multi-Method Research: A Guide to Combining QCA and Case Studies. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Who Are Your Instructors?
Ioana-Elena Oana is a Research Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) focusing on comparative politics, political representation, political behavior, and public opinion formation. She is the main developer of the R package SetMethods for QCA and has extensive experience in teaching QCA using R at various international methods schools and universities (IQMR, ECPR, IPSA-Flacso, etc.). She has co-authered the book ‘Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) using R: A Beginner’s Guide’ (Cambridge University Press, 2021, with Carsten Q. Schneider and Eva Thomann) and A Robustness Test Protocol for Applied QCA: Theory and R Software Application (Sociological Methods & Research, 2021, with Carsten Q. Schneider).
Website https://nenaoana.github.io
X @NenaOana

Schneider is Professor of Political Science and Pro-Rector for External Relations at Central European University (CEU). In his research on social science research methods, Schneider specializes on set-theoretic methods, in particular Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). Over the past decade, he has written three books on QCA, all published with Cambridge University Press. The latest one in this series, entitled ‘Set-Theoretic Multi-Method Research: A Guide to Combining QCA and Case Studies’, is forthcoming in 2023. His 2012 co-authored book ‘Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences: A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis’ (Cambridge University Press) has become one of the key references in the field of QCA. His research has been published in leading social science journals, such as Political Analysis, Sociological Methods and Research, Comparative Political Studies, and the European Journal of Political Research, and is widely referenced by scholars from across the social sciences. Schneider was an elected member of the German Academy of Young Scientists, and he won the David Collier Mid-Career Achievement Award of the American Political Science Association (APSA) section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research.

Bildungszeit (can be claimed by employees in Baden-Württemberg) 
Anforderungen des Bildungszeitgesetzes Baden-Württemberg sind erfüllt
460 EUR / Early bird 390 EUR / Please note: you will gain access to our learning management system Moodle only after having paid your course fee
ECTS Credits 
Contact for Questions 
26.02.2024 (All day)
27.02.2024 (All day)
28.02.2024 (All day)
29.02.2024 (All day)
01.03.2024 (All day)
5 study days
This advanced course presumes basic knowledge of QCA in R, such as taught in an introductory course. If in doubt, please contact the course instructor to clarify eligibility.