Workshop Two:

Qualitative Comparative Analysis

This workshop began with a presentation of the realist conception of the nature of cases as this relates to Ragin's proposal that we consider cases as 'configurations'. We then proceeded to an exposition of Ragin's fuzzy set method and a training workshop in the application of the method using examples drawn from our own work. Next we asked particular participants (briefed in advance of the workshop) to present reflections on how the approaches might be useful in their own work. Finally we had a buzz group (small groups of four working together) and report back plenary discussion of the approaches and their application. All discussion were recorded and processed interpretatively using NVIVO as the basis of our report on the workshop.

By following the links below, you can work through the course presentations and, by accessing the data files on the left, you can then try out some of the techniques for yourself. Output files have been included as examples.

The data files are also available, along with more recent working papers, at the QUAL-COMPARE JISC email list file area. This file area can be located by finding QUAL-COMPARE in the JISC site, . A hot link to the area is provided here, accessed Oct. 2009:

Even if you do not 'join' the QUAL-COMPARE email list, you can see all the current files there.  You may join the list if you wish, leading to occasional email bulletins about QCA training and advances in software. However a good substitute for general information is to check this website occasionally: The JISC area is mainly for specialists who want to share and examine others' data sets.


  1. Introduction to QCA by Wendy Olsen
  2. Introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis -Preliminary Notes for Beginners by Wendy Olsen
  3. Intermediate Level Qualitative Comparative Analysis Including Fuzzy Sets by Wendy Olsen
  4. Understanding Sets by Charles Ragin
  5. A Boolean Approach to Qualitative Comparison - A summary by Richard Warnes


Programme for WorkshopTwo


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