Set-Theoretic Methods for the Social Sciences: A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 30, 2012 - Political Science - 350 pages
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Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and other set-theoretic methods distinguish themselves from other approaches to the study of social phenomena by using sets and the search for set relations. In virtually all social science fields, statements about social phenomena can be framed in terms of set relations, and using set-theoretic methods to investigate these statements is therefore highly valuable. This book guides readers through the basic principles of set theory and then on to the applied practices of QCA. It provides a thorough understanding of basic and advanced issues in set-theoretic methods together with tricks of the trade, software handling and exercises. Most arguments are introduced using examples from existing research. The use of QCA is increasing rapidly and the application of set-theory is both fruitful and still widely misunderstood in current empirical comparative social research. This book provides the comprehensive guide to these methods for researchers across the social sciences.

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Qualitative Comparative Analysis as a settheoretic
Plan of the book
Sets set membership and calibration 23
Notions and operations in set theory 42
Set relations 56
Truth tables 91
of the outcome 112
Parameters of fit 119
Potential pitfalls in the Standard Analysis procedure and suggestions
Potential pitfalls in the analysis of necessity and sufficiency
of trivialness 233
Variants of QCA as a technique meet QCA as an approach 251
Data analysis technique meets settheoretic approach 275
Looking back looking ahead 313
Glossary 322
Bibliography 336

Limited diversity and logical remainders 151
The Truth Table Algorithm 178

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About the author (2012)

Carsten Q. Schneider is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Imperfections in Democracies at Central European University, Hungary.

Claudius Wagemann is Lecturer in the Doctoral Program in Political Science at the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM), Florence.

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