Abstract Kouba 2009

Models of Causality in Qualitative Political Science Research

Karel Kouba

Abstract: This contribution aims to introduce three models of causal inference in qualitative research in comparative political science. This paper seeks to establish a basic framework for understanding three distinct ways of causal reasoning, to draw attention to some of their relative advantages and disadvantages and outline how to use them in practical research. The three models include the causal effects model, the configurative model of causality which investigates the combinations of conditions leading to the specific outcomes, and a model based on an analysis of causal mechanisms. These models are applied to specific research problems and methods of empirical testing of political science theories.

Keywords: Qualitative research, causal effects model, political science theories