Three strategies to track configurations over time with qualitative comparative analysis

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) – a configurational research approach – has become often-used in political science. In its original form, QCA is relatively static and does not analyze configurations over time. Since many key questions in political science – and other social sciences – have a temporal dimension, this is a major drawback of QCA. Therefore, we discuss and compare three QCA-related strategies that enable researchers to track configurations over time: (1) Multiple Time Periods, Single QCA; (2) Multiple QCAs, Different Time Periods; and (3) Fuzzy-Set Ideal Type Analysis. We use existing datasets to empirically demonstrate and visualize the strategies. By comparing the strategies, we also contribute to existing overviews on how to address time in QCA. We conclude by formulating an agenda for the further development of the three strategies in applied research, in political science and beyond.

Publication | Verweij, S. & Vis, B. (2021). Three strategies to track configurations over time with qualitative comparative analysis. European Political Science Review, 13 (1), 95-111.