MethodsNET Summer School on Process Tracing Methods

June 19-30, 2023, Derek Beach and I offer a PhD-level course on Process Tracing Methods as part of the 2nd @MethodsNET Summer School. Registration is now open, but what will we do?

Part of the Summer School in Social Research Methods (3SRM full program), this course is designed for those interested in qualitative case studies and studying “causal mechanisms”. Over the course of two weeks, we will discuss what causal mechanisms are, how they advance our understanding of (social) phenomena, how mechanisms can be traced, and what conclusions can be drawn on the basis of a PT.

The course takes a hands-on approach and encourages participants to apply theoretical insights to their own research projects. It provides all the basic skills to set-up and follow-through an independent PT-study.

Venue: Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Course dates: 19-30 June, 2023
Early bird (PhD)student fee: €1075 (until 01.04)
Application deadline: 1 May 2023
Registration and more information: here.

EISA Pan-European Conference 2021

To really wake up from my COVID-hybernation, I’ll join the European International Studies Association Pan-European Conference this week. I will be on two panels actively (see below) and hopefully many more in the audience.

I’ll be joining pandemic-style, though. Just as my husband is away for a real live workshop, my 22-month-old decided now is a good time to fall ill…

Paper presentation:


Updates finally coming

As I am slowly, ever so slowly, awakening from a two year hectic slumber–hectic because new born baby, COVID-19, lockdowns, and continued teaching; slumber because what really happened academically/intellectually was fairly little–, I visited my website for the first time in, well, a year and a half and realised that it is time for an up-date!

I have much to be exited about: Methods teaching resuming, conference participations to announce and, most of all, the start of my MSC-fellowship. For now, I will just leave it at a short pledge that, from now on, I will keep this side up-to-date again.

Process Tracing course — ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques

I’ll be offering an introductory course on process tracing methodology at the upcoming ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques, February 14-21, at the University of Bamberg. For more information and a full course outline: ECPR website. Or, for more on my process tracing activities; see here.

… and the course is booked out! With 25 students we will have a full house. Luckily, I could recruit an excellent Teaching Assistant: Ivan Bakalov.

WB104 – Introduction to Process Tracing
Process Tracing (PT) is a within-case method that focuses on tracing causal mechanisms – the actual ‘link’ between a trigger (conventionally called the x) and an outcome (y). This course will introduce you to the essentials of this method, its main underlying assumptions and its applicability.

We will discuss what causal mechanisms are, how we can ‘trace’ them and what kind of causal inferences we can draw on the bases of a process-tracing study. Moreover, to position PT in the broader methodological field we will look at how PT relates to, but differs from, other (larger- and small-N) case study methods and discuss what understanding of causality underlies process-tracing. This introduction to PT will take a hands-on approach, applying the new insights to concrete examples and, when possible, to participants’ own research projects (more…).


Process tracing workshop at BIGSSS, Nov 29-30

This week Thursday and Friday I will offer a two-day workshop on ‘Process Tracing’ at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS). Expecting 14 participants with very divers backgrounds and research foci, I am looking forward to some interesting discussions about case study methods in general and their research projects in particular.

In honor of this workshop — and the many that came before it and, hopefully, the many that will still follow — I also just inaugurated a new page to my website dedicated to my process tracing activities. If you are interested: have a look!

DVPW-Kongress 2018, Sept 25-28

It almost feels like a farewell party organized specifically for me: This week’s conference of the German Association for Political Science (DVPW) coincides with my last official work week in Germany! (It is not, of course, my official farewell party but that is unlikely to lessen my fun.)

My own presentation will be on Tuesday afternoon in one of the first panels. The panel as a whole addresses the theme of ‘cosmopolitan responsibility’. Personally I will draw into question whether we can experience and feel such a responsibility and if and how it works when we are called to act upon our ‘common humanity’.

Paper: Cosmopolitan responsibility in practice: Social distance and the challenge of a ‘common humanity’ identity
Slot: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 16:00-17:30, SH 3.106
Panel: Grenzen der Demokratie überwinden — Kosmopolitische Verantwortung als politisches Konzept
Other panelists: Mitja Sienknecht, Jürgen Neyer, Eva Buddeberg, Antja Vetterlein and Hannes Hansen-Magnusson

For more information on the conference and the full program: DVPW-Kongress 2018.

Book review in International Affairs

A book review I wrote for International Affairs was published in their September issue. You can find the final version here (paywall) and a pre-print version here (open access).

Researching non-state actors in international security: theory and practice; Andreas Kruck and Andrea Schneiker (eds.); Abingdon; Routledge; 2017; Hardcover, £84; ISBN: 978 1 138 94782 5; e-book available.
Research, across the board, is becoming more formalised. Whether an ethnographic study, comparative case study or experiment, the list of prescriptions that comes with our methodological choices is growing. This is not necessarily a negative development: transparent descriptions of methodological choices give the reader handles to assess the intent and quality of a study. But method should not suffocate. Where our messy social reality meets a researcher’s practical limitations, trade-offs have to be made – especially in (post-)conflict settings where access may be dangerous, difficult or nearly impossible.

This edited volume balances that fine line between stylized method which allows scholars to make inferences and the messy social reality of security studies forcing trade-offs. Andreas Kruck and Andrea Schneiker brought together scholars from different backgrounds to reflect upon methods ‘in use’. Focusing, albeit not exclusively, on non-state actors in international security the chapters cover a range of approaches – from narrative and sentiment analysis, case study methods and interviewing, to field-experiments and immersion – with a particular eye on the implementation and (dis-)advantages of these methods. The book therewith offers an overview of what is methodologically possible but is also honest about what is difficult… (continue reading).


EISA Pan-European Conference, Sept 12-15

This week I will be at the European International Studies Association (EISA) 12th Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Prague, Czech Republic.

Although I’ll be around earlier, you can find me on Friday morning in the following two consecutive panels each taking a slightly different perspective on ‘social distance‘ and the role of emotions in IR.

First panel:

Paper: Humanitarian Selectivity. Addressing the Socio-emotional Side of Intervention Decisions and Support for Humanitarian Aid
Slot: Friday, Sept. 14, 09:00-10:45, RB 106
Panel: What is ‘Humanitarian’ in International Relations? Meanings of a contested concept
Section: S22: Humanitarian Affairs in International Relations


Second panel:

Paper: Saving Strangers: On Social Distance in International Relations
Slot: Friday, Sept. 14, 11:15-13:00, SB 227
Panel: Engaging with Difference for Peace
Section: S48: The Politics of Otherness

For the conference website and full program, click here.