Process-Tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines

Process-Tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines

Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen, "Process-Tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines"
2013 | ISBN-10: 0472071890 | 208 pages | PDF | 2 MB

Process-tracing in social science is a method for studying causal mechanisms linking causes with outcomes. This enables the researcher to make strong inferences about how a cause (or set of causes) contributes to producing an outcome. Derek Beach and Rasmus Brun Pedersen introduce a refined definition of process-tracing, differentiating it into three distinct variants and explaining the applications and limitations of each. The authors develop the underlying logic of process-tracing, including how one should understand causal mechanisms and how Bayesian logic enables strong within-case inferences. They provide instructions for identifying the variant of process-tracing most appropriate for the research question at hand and a set of guidelines for each stage of the research process.

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