078 Merits and Gaps of Process Tracing

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
C3.23 (Oudemanhuispoort)
In recent years, there is increasing methodological reflection about case study methods. In the course of this discussion the method of process tracing has gained increasing attention and popularity. In this roundtable renowned experts in the field discuss the merits and gaps of process tracing. The roundtable addresses the following questions: What are the ontological and epistemological foundations of process tracing? What distinguishes process tracing from historical explanations and analytic narratives? Which type of inference is made in process tracing? How can this method be combined with other methods? What is the contribution of process tracing to theory building and theory test? Which variants of process tracing are identifiable? Is process tracing the best method to study causal mechanism? Is process tracing the method of historical institutionalism? Which kind of processes and which kind of causal mechanisms can be studies with this method? How to formulate guidelines for best practices of process tracing? How do we know when a process starts and when it ends? Which theoretical and analytical approaches fit best to this method? Which case selection strategies are useful? How can we assess the quality of process tracing? How can we achieve that process tracing is a method beyond description? And most important: How have process tracing studies contributed to theoretical progress in comparative political economy?
Christine Trampusch
Derek Beach , Tim BŁthe , Tulia Falleti , Markus Kreuzer and Jonathan Zeitlin
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