Free Online Course on Process Tracing

To the attention of all Process Tracing enthusiasts: Derek Beach (@beach_methodman) and I will offer a *free* short online course: “A short introduction to Process Tracing Methods”, Feb 24, online 14:00-15:30 CET.

For registration, simply send a short message to and we will send you the zoom-link. All information about this event can also be found at the MethodsNET website.

The aim of this short introductory session is to provide participants with an understanding of the core elements of Process tracing methods and how they can be used in practical research. Process tracing is a research method designed to learn how things work in real-world cases. Increasingly used across the social sciences and in applied policy evaluation, process tracing involves unpacking causal processes as they play out within cases and tracing them empirically, enabling within-case causal inferences about the processes that link causes and outcomes together.

The session begins with an introduction of the theory-side of what we are actually tracing, followed by a discussion of what types of empirical evidence can be used to trace causal processes (aka mechanisms). We will use the example of the article by Winward (2020) to illustrate what Process tracing can look like in practice. The final part of the session introduces principles of case selection and generalization. After this, there will be plenty of time for questions from participants.

Suggested readings:

• Beach (forthcoming) Process Tracing Methods in Social Science. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Revised edition.

• Winward M. 2020. Intelligence Capacity and Mass Violence: Evidence From Indonesia. Comparative Political Studies, 54(3-4):553-584.