To support the dialogue between science and society, as well as researchers across different disciplines, IRI THESys holds both external and internal events. This includes lecture series, summer universities and panel discussions open to the public, and participative workshops, colloquiums and activities for IRI THESys. Browse through our past and upcoming events to find out more.
Digital THESys Talk with Ingo Rohlfing
What do a small number of cases and process tracing have to offer for causal inference?
When? 14 June 2022, 16.15-17.45
The now dominant paradigm for causal inference in quantitative research has two core elements: a large number of cases (or: the analysis of 'types' instead of 'tokens'), and a counterfactual idea of causation. Based on this template, one can reasonably wonder what the added value of the qualitative analysis of a small number of cases can be, including the study of a single case. This talk introduces arguments for the added value of process tracing as the primary method for the intensive analysis of a small number of cases. We will further discuss how causal inferences can be made in a small-n setting and to what degree causal analysis in qualitative research can be reconciled with the guiding framework in quantitative research.
Ingo Rohlfing is teaching and working on Methods of Comparative Political Research at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, University of Cologne. He is doing research on social science methods with a focus on qualitative methods (case studies and process tracing), Qualitative Comparative Analysis, multimethod research and research credibility and transparency. Ingo is author of the monograph Case Studies and Causal Inference and he has published articles in Comparative Political Studies, Sociological Methods & Research and Political Analysis.