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Courses

Eva Thomann(Universität Konstanz)
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) by Eva Thomann
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a set-theoretic method for identifying necessary and/or sufficient conditions for outcomes which is increasingly used in comparative policy analysis. Its core advantages lie in modelling causal complexity and enabling systematic comparisons to identify regularities, while integrating case knowledge at all levels of analysis. This course introduces participants to the nuts and bolts of QCA and its implementation using the most powerful currently available software in R. Apart from basic knowledge of empirical social research design and methodology, no particular pre-existing knowledge is required.
Charlotte Halpern Philippe Zittoun
Rethinking the political Decision-making process
This course focuses on the decision-making process by mobilizing different qualitative perspectives. Its main objective is to identify and discuss how we can empirically and methodologically grasp the decision-making process by reinterrogating the policy process. Since 1970, the question of decision has been erased by the research dynamic around the policy process itself. After the incapacity to solve this famous question of who governs, the decision has first been understood as the result of other processes, such as the problem definition and its eruption to the institutionalization, the policy solution formulation and its policy windows, etc. Most of the approaches have looked outside the decision itself to understand it. After examining the different theories on the field, our course will come back to the decision itself and its role in the policy process. Can we consider that the decision plays its own and autonomous role? Our main perspective is to consider that if the decision is not what we expected, someone who solved a problem by choosing the best solution, it is not nothing. It is a political phenomenon where there are struggles about the definition of "decisionmaker" and powerful position.
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