Type
Article
Title
Between X and Y: how process tracing contributes to opening the black box of causality
In
New Political Economy
Author(s)
PALIER Bruno - Centre d'études européennes et de politique comparée (Author)
TRAMPUSCH Christine - Cologne Center for Comparative Politics (Author)
Editor
GB : Carfax
Volume
21
Number
5
Pages
437 - 454 p.
ISSN
13563467
Keywords
Process tracing, method, methodology, ontology, causality
Abstract
EN
This article maps the methodological debate on process tracing and discusses the diverse variants of process tracing in order to highlight the commonalities beyond diversity and disagreements. Today most authors agree that process tracing is aimed at unpacking causal and temporal mechanisms. The article distinguishes two main types of use for process tracing. Some are more inductive, aimed at theory building (i.e. at uncovering and specifying causal mechanisms) while others are more deductive, aimed at theory testing (and refining). The paper summarizes the main added value and drawbacks of process tracing. It ends by providing ten guidelines for when and how to apply process tracing.

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