Tuesday 6
Disentangling complex patterns in social-ecological systems using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
Orjan Bodin, Xavier Basurto
› 15:45 - 16:40 (55min)
› JOFFRE C
Challenges in using fsQCA to analyse performance characteristics of governance systems
Claudia Pahl-Wostl  1@  
1 : Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrück  (IUSF)

Abstract for the session “Disentangling complex patterns in social-ecological systems using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)” organized by Örjan Bodin & Xavier Basurto

Qualitative Comparative Analysis has been introduced by Ragin already in the 80ies. But it has enjoyed increasing popularity and widespread application only in recent years. Its attractiveness derives from the potential to bridge in depth case study approaches and formalized comparative analyses of a larger number of cases. Another interesting aspect is its ability to capture equifinality, the fact that more than one pathway, different configurations of causal factors may lead to an outcome. QCA is a powerful method but it requires considerable care and experience to be applied to avoid some pitfalls and caveats. This implies in particular to fsQCA which aims at overcoming limitations of crisp-set QCA where different states have to be expressed as Boolean variables being either TRUE or FALSE. The paper will present experiences with using fsQCA to analyse the performance characteristics of water governance systems. Results will be compared to insights gained from statistical analyses. The paper will elaborate as well on the need to develop standards of good scientific practice in using fsQCA. 


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