The configurational approach in comparative social policy analysis : advances in capturing the impact of globalisation on social policymaking in moderate-n research designs

Stefan KÜHNER, Gibrán CRUZ-MARTINEZ, Nan YANG

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Abstract

Although relatively young, the configurational approach is now firmly established as part of
the methodological toolkit for comparative political economists. While debates about its
advantages and limitations are ongoing, there has been a proliferation of different qualitative
comparative analysis (QCA) types for moderate-N research designs. Rather than adding to
these debates, this chapter assesses QCA applications addressing the impact of globalisation
processes on national social policymaking. We conduct a systematic literature review of
empirical studies to illustrate how a small but increasing number of QCA studies try to
capture the causal effects of globalisation from a comparative perspective. We find that
theoretical innovation within those studies has remained limited; few fully comply with
existing ‘best practice’ prescriptions of the configurational approach. We conclude by
charting a way forward for QCA in comparative political economy and suggest how
researchers could combine QCA techniques with other mainstream research methods in this
field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on the Political Economy of Social Policy
EditorsBent GREVE, Amílcar MOREIRA, Minna VAN GERVEN
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Chapter8
Pages92-103
ISBN (Electronic)9781035306497
ISBN (Print)9781035306480
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Configurational Approach
  • Set-theoretic methods
  • Qualitative Comparative Analysis
  • Moderate-N Research Design
  • Globalisation

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