QCA Online Workshops 2020 & 2021

The Jackstädt Center traditionally co-organizes and co-hosts the International Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) Workshop Series together with partners from the University of Bamberg, the EAWAG in Zurich, and the ETH Zurich. In 2020, the 8th edition of the International QCA Expert Workshop and the 4th edition of the International QCA Paper Development Workshop took place. These two workshops provide a platform for scientific exchange and community building for experienced and junior researchers who develop and apply QCA. While Zurich had become a home for these workshops in the past years, and our colleagues and friends were looking forward to meeting again in person, the workshops took place as online events due to the COVID-19 pandemic from November 23rd to November 26th. We extended the overall duration of the workshop but limited the program to 4-5 hours a day. This had the advantage of accommodating the different time zones of the participants. In total, more than 80 researchers participated in the two workshops.

The Expert Workshop took place from November 23rd to November 24th and brought more than 30 scholars with longstanding experience in applying and developing QCA and other configurational comparative methods together. The workshop program contained four presentation sessions, opportunities to socialize, and an open COMPASSS Advisory Board Meeting. The presentation session covered topics such as the development of theories with QCA as a research approach, generalization of QCA results, robustness of QCA results, and empirical applications of coincidence analysis. A virtual socializing event at the end of the first day gave participants the opportunity to continue the scientific exchange and to (re-)connect with workshop participants.

The Paper Development Workshop (November 25th – 26th) was supported by several leading scholars. Junior researchers or first-time users of QCA received feedback on their research papers in online-round table sessions. These round table sessions provided junior researchers with the opportunity to discuss their work with senior scholars. For specific questions we designed topic-specific “Face your QCA challenges” groups that were moderated by senior scholars. To facilitate the interaction between participants and to give junior scholars an overview of the QCA community, we introduced an interactive “Map the QCA community” session. In this session different groups of junior scholars were to draw a network map of the QCA and met different senior scholars in Zoom breakout rooms. This session gave junior scholars the opportunity to get to know the workshop faculty, their research fields, and their research journey with QCA.

For the second time, we awarded the best submissions to the workshop with a best paper award and a runner up prize. The winners of the best paper award were: Cheng Chen (Sun Yat-sen University) and Bin Chen (The City University of New York) for their paper “To Reverse or To Continue Contracting-Out? A Configurational Approach to Political Transaction Costs in the Institutional Choice of Public Service Delivery”. The runner up prize went to Robin Chang (Technical University of Dortmund) and Lasse Gerrits (Erasmus University Rotterdam) for their paper “What stabilizes temporary use? A qualitative comparative analysis of 40 temporary use cases”.

The workshop ended with a panel debate “QCA & me: The added value of QCA in my research field and in my professional life” in which Dr. Giula Bazzan, Katrin Paziker and Prof. Dr. Ryan Rumble reflected on using QCA in their PhD dissertations and on their experience with publishing QCA papers.

The International QCA Paper Development Workshop and the Expert Workshop also took place at the ETH Zurich in 2021. Both workshops were co-organized by the Jackstädt Center and took place from December 13th – 15th. The organizing team was extended by two junior researchers. The following institutions co-organized the workshops: EAWAG, ETH Zurich, Jönköping University, University of Bamberg, University of Potsdam, and University of Wuppertal. The COVID-19 pandemic also influenced the workshop organization and large parts of the workshops took place in online formats. The Paper Development workshop took place from December 13th – 14th as a purely online event and thereby followed the format of the previous year. The Expert Workshop (December 14th – 15th) followed a hybrid format with some participants meeting onsite in Zurich while others joined online via Zoom. The organizing team received much positive feedback for these two workshops as well as for the workshops from the previous years, and the team plans to organize the workshops again in 2022.

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