Chair in Qualitative Empirical Research Methods



20.07.2023 16:18

Summer, Sun, QCA

In the summer semester of 2023, a group of particularly motivated students again completed our research practicum on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). This course offers deep insights into an innovative method, which can be considered the most systematic form of case comparison. QCA is based on set-theoretic principles and allows one to identify necessary and/or sufficient explanatory factors (or various combinations thereof) for particular outcomes.

This format is led by Claudius Wagemann, who himself has been instrumental in the further development and establishment of this now widely used method. He was supported this semester by the QCA- and R-savvy student assistants Christopher Hain and Philipp Schemm. While Prof. Wagemann imparted his theoretical expertise, Christopher helped with the presentation of the R code in the hands-on "Lab Sessions". Philipp, in turn, used his knowledge to assist students with any problems that arose with the R programming language.

As always, the goal of this event was to train the students themselves to become experts in this field and to enable them to make sound use of this versatile method.


As part of our ongoing research project on “Smart Authoritarianism?" – funded by the DFG, led by Seraphine Maerz – we are currently updating and expanding the Telecommunication Ownership and Control (TOSCO) dataset. With the help of Vera Grünewald as well as Tobias Sauer and in collaboration with Tina Freyburg, Lisa Garbe, and several Research Assistants at the University of St. Gallen, the team of Seraphine Maerz expects to release TOSCO V2.0 in September 2023. The TOSCO dataset provides data on ownership of Internet service providers (ISPs) that illustrates how the Internet is strategically built and used by governments and corporations. TOSCO V1.0 and further information about the data is available on our interactive TOSCO dashboard.


30.11.2022 12:00

ProDem in Brussels

In 2022, the annual meeting was again held to conclude the second year of the ProDem project, which examines the interaction of citizens, protest movements and movement parties in European democracies. In the European Parliament in Brussels, we had the opportunity to exchange with actors from research and politics as well as representatives of various NGOs about the insights gained in the past year and the developed report. The report presents how the EU and national governments as well as social movements can contribute to promoting participation in a Europe whose citizens are increasingly dissatisfied with a democracy in which they no longer fully believe. Women and low-income groups are particularly affected by this.

After keynote speeches by Katarina Barley, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Daniel Freund and Nicolae Ștefănuță, MEPs, a lively discussion developed about possible synergies in the exchange of research, policy and social engagement.

During the progress meeting of the ProDem project network the next morning, the plans for the last funding year were then discussed. The Frankfurt team was represented by Anna Anlauft, Daria Glukhova, Lex Metzeld and Claudius Wagemann.


Positionen zum Mindestlohn; Quelle: Bender, Benedikt (2020): Politisch-ökonomische Konfliktlinien im sich wandelnden Wohlfahrtsstaat. Positionierung deutscher Interessenverbände von 2000 bis 2014. Wiesbaden: Springer-VS, Seite 242.

The focus of the data set "Reform Monitor of Political Conflicts" (ReMoPo) created by Dr. Benedikt Bender is the question of changing political lines of conflict of organized interests. What are the positions of employers' associations, trade unions and political parties on labor market, social and family policy? How do they position themselves on protection against dismissal, fixed-term employment, unemployment benefits, minimum wages, KITA infrastructure or parental benefits? Can changes over time and/or variations within the organizations be shown, and how much do the positions on political parties differ? Do the organizations change their positions in times of crisis, such as the economic and financial crisis or the Corona pandemic?

To answer these questions empirically, press releases are analyzed and expert interviews are conducted. The ReMoPo dataset starts in 2000 and currently includes seven employers' associations, six trade unions and seven political parties. The dataset is used by Dr. Bender and his team in teaching and research, as well as by our students for term papers and theses.

In summary, from the analyses to date, support for welfare state policies varies by issue and can change as contexts change. For example, it cannot be shown that employer organizations generally oppose welfare state expansion, just as unions do not necessarily support expansion. Purely ideological factors of organizational types per se (labor/capital; left/right) are therefore not sufficient factors to explain positions. Rather, they are pragmatic explanatory factors, such as the extent to which affiliates, or their members, benefit from the reforms.

In perspective, the data set will be extended in two directions: On the one hand, the positions of the Acutere are to be analyzed in an EU country comparison, and on the other hand, a focus is also to be placed on the German federal states.


After a productive summer semester which for the first time in a long while has been completely in person, the entire Team Wagemann wholeheartedly wishes all students and other members of Goethe University a wonderful summer season and a relaxing semester break.

We will also be taking a vacation. Therefore, we ask for your understanding if we are less available than usual until the resumption of teaching in the winter semester.