Prof. Dr. Claudius Wagemann - Research

While our past research agenda can be seen from our publication lists, here is an overview of our current research interests:

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Comparative Configurational Methods (CCM)

Quality of Applied QCA

Our team engages in the further refinement of standards for the conceptualization and the implementation of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). This interest builds on Prof. Wagemann’s earlier work with Carsten Q. Schneider, Central European University Budapest. As early as 2010, Schneider and Wagemann presented a list of several recommendations for a ‘good quality QCA’. More recently, Wagemann et al. looked at published QCA applications in Business and Management studies, and Buche and Siewert did the same for sociology. These results indicate severe problems in the application of QCA which even risk to put into question the substantial results of the articles. With this as a motivation, our research team works on a project, aiming at systematic and rigorous analysis of the quality of QCA applications in various social science research disciplines.

Publication, Conference, and Teaching Activities

Currently, Wagemann is finishing a book manuscript in German, together with Joachim Blatter, University of Lucerne and Phil C. Langer, International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, on “Qualitative Methoden in der Politikwissenschaft” (Qualitative Methods in Political Science) which will be published with Springer VS. Additionally, a new handbook on methods in political science is under contract with Springer VS which Wagemann and Siewert will co-edit together with Achim Goerres, University of Duisburg-Essen. Furthermore, Wagemann and Siewert regularly publish introductory articles: Wagemann publishes widely on QCA – e.g. in Wenzelburger and Zohlnhöfer (eds.), “Handbuch Policy-Forschung” (Handbook Policy Research, 2015), or in Della Porta (ed.), “Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research” (2014). Siewert’s articles on “QCA” and “Process Tracing” will appear in an edited volume by Sebastian Jäckle on “Innovative Methoden in den Sozialwissenschaften” (Innovative Methods in the Social Sciences, Springer VS). Besides publications, our team actively participates in the German and international QCA research community via organizing conference panels, and serving within several institutions such as the DVPW’s methods section or Compasss. Finally, we are highly engaged in teaching QCA and other case-oriented research designs through workshops on graduate and PhD level throughout Europe.

Research team:     Claudius Wagemann
Jonas Buche
Markus B. Siewert

Quality of Democracy

German Case Study on Democratic Quality

Following Morlino’s proposal on looking at the Quality of Democracy from the perspective of eight different dimensions, the private university LUISS in Rome has organized a larger comparative research group with various Italian and five international research teams. The Frankfurt team has worked on the assessment of the quality of the German democracy and has delivered qualitative and quantitative data with regard to the underlying questionnaire. The goal of this project is to rely on a wide variety of information on democratic quality in the countries under research (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain) in order to observe changes induced through crises, such as the Euro and the economic crises a couple of years ago.

Research team:     Claudius Wagemann
Markus B. Siewert
Lars Paulus
Christoph Klement
Funded by:   Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research
as a ‘Progetto di ricerca di interesse nazionale’ (PRIN)

Italy and Germany in Bi- and Supra-National Perspectives

DAAD- Conference on ‘Populism, Prejudices, and Perspectives. Italy and Germany in Today’s Europe’

In public discussions on European politics – above all, if addressed to the European Union (EU) in its current crisis and with regard to the re-vitalized North-Southern divide – rising ‘populist’ forces are frequently invoked. This did not only happen over the most recent elections to the European Parliament (EP) but ‘populism’ has also been noted at various other instances all over Europe, ranging from electoral behavior to protests. While the definition of populism is discussed in the social sciences, references to stereotypes about the ‘other’ are part of its common core. The most honorable aim of the EU has always been the integration of different European countries, cultures and identities; however, it cannot be denied that the completion of this process takes longer than some political thinkers of the past had foreseen.
It seems that rather the contrary can be witnessed: above all, the €uro crisis and its various ramifications on national austerity programs seem to provoke a revival of mutual stereotypes within the EU which has widened the gaps between single member states. Recent discussions about the distribution of refugees over Europe, other issues on border protection, and more general topics on the distribution of financial means in the EU add to this phenomenon.
We see two consequences from the most recent developments: first, from a supra-national perspective, identification with and approval of the European project (going beyond the purely institutional integration into the EU but also referring to the need of various mutual political, economic, social, cultural, and technological exchanges) is endangered. Second, from a bi-national perspective which evolves between nation states, stereotypes and prejudices challenge established contacts, routines, and images.
We study these phenomena above all with regard to Italian-German relations, but keep an eye on other countries, such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain. A kick-off workshop with experts from all countries will be held on 11 and 12 November in Frankfurt.

Project applicants:   Claudius Wagemann, Goethe University Frankfurt
Simona Piattoni, University of Trento
Luca Verzichelli, University of Siena
Project collaborators:   Markus B. Siewert, Goethe University Frankfurt
Nils G. Sartorius, Goethe University Frankfurt
Project administration:   Heike Langholz, Goethe University Frankfurt
Further partners   in this topic area include:
Christian Vaccari,, Royal Holloway University of London
Nicolò Conti, Università Telematica Rome
Funded by:   German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Amici come prima? Perspectives from the Political Sciences on Germany, Italy, and the European Union in Times of Crisis

Workshop proposed for the Villa Vigoni roundtable series of the German-Italian Center for European Excellence.

The workshop will host up to 15 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers from Germany and Italy to present and discuss their work. It also serves as a forum and network for a bi-national exchange on German-Italian partnerships and the role of both countries within Europe. The workshop, if financed, will be held in spring 2017.

Project applicants:   Claudius Wagemann, Goethe University Frankfurt
Simona Piattoni, University of Trento
Luca Verzichelli, University of Siena
Project collaborators:   Markus B. Siewert, Goethe University Frankfurt
Nils G. Sartorius, Goethe University Frankfurt
Further partners   in this topic area include:
Ton Notermans, Tallinn University of Technology / Universität Trento
Funded by:   pending with the German-Italian Center for Excellence

Interest Groups and Trade Unions

Project preparation on trade unions, together with Universität Trento (University of Osnabrück) and Jürgen Grote (Hertie School of Governance)

In March 2015, Prof. Wagemann organized, together with Andrea Pritoni (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), an ECPR Workshop during the Warsaw Joint Sessions on “Conceptualising and Comparing Interest Groups and Interest Groups Systems”


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