Skip to main content
Qualitative comparative analysis and applied public policy analysis : new applications of innovative methods
Policy and Society
  • John HUDSON, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Stefan KÜHNER, University of York, United Kingdom
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
Elsevier B.V.

QCA based methods have grown in popularity in recent years. Standing between quantitative and qualitative research, in principle they help balance the breadth of analysis provided by quantitative data with the depth of case study knowledge provided by qualitative analysis. The challenge of mixing depth and breadth has always been a particularly acute one for policy based research. Proponents of QCA techniques suggest they are better placed to handle the diversity of policy provision found in different spatial entities than standard linear quantitative methods, while also able to allow for hypothesis testing based upon a fine grained analysis that is more systematic in approach than the techniques typically employed in standard qualitative analyses. The full potential of these methods for policy analysis has yet to be realised however. Partly this is because knowledge of these methods remains at the margins of the policy analysis community, particularly amongst practitioners undertaking applied policy analyses such as policy evaluations. In the introduction to this volume we first outline some of the key principles of QCA research before moving on to identify some of its key advantages. We round off by highlighting key themes explored by the papers included within the volume.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 Policy and Society Associates (APSS). Elsevier Ltd.

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Hudson, J., & Kühner, S. (2013). Qualitative comparative analysis and applied public policy analysis: New applications of innovative methods. Policy and Society, 32(4), 279-287. doi: 10.1016/j.polsoc.2013.10.001