Chair in Qualitative Empirical Research Methods


Our team is specialized in research methods. Following the Greek word origin (μέθοδος), this means to look at the ‘ways’ of our research activities. In our view, the plurality of different methodological approaches to social science questions enriches political science and sociology considerably. This perspective also shapes our teaching, above all at the BA level. In our own work, however, we emphasize comparative case study methods. We have a meaningful expertise in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and similar set-theoretic procedures. The research associates also specialize in different forms of (quantitative and/or systematic) text analysis and in the analysis of social science concepts.

As for substantial topics, we deal with organized state-business relations, interest groups, neo-corporatism, social pacts, movement parties, country images, and the German-Italian relations.

If you want to know more, just click here.



Farewell to Heike Langholz

After managing our chair's administration for more than eight years, Heike Langholz is leaving our team on 15 July 2021. With Heike's great vigilance and responsibility towards her work she has been a great support to all of us. Her energy, motivation and creative enthusiam contributed tremendously to this team's successes.

We want to congratulate Heike for taking on the chance for a professional advancement and wish her all the best for what is next. Dear Heike, thank you so much from our whole team for everything you have done for us over the last years!

At the same time we want to say our warm welcome to Anna Anlauft who joined our administration on 1 July 2021. Welcome, Anna, and lots of joy in our team!

Summer break

Summer break

Summer break

After another digital summer semester that was exhausting for many of us, our team whishes all students and other members of Goethe-University a great summer break and relaxing holidays.

Since we, too, will be on holiday, we want to ask for your understanding should we not be as reachable as usual until the start of the next semester in October.



Symposium "Challenges for Europe" on 19-20 July 2021

For some years now, Europe has been facing a number of challenges such as economic crises, social inequality, and the erosion of democracy. In light of these challenges, the Volkswagen Foundation wants to stimulate research on issues affecting Europe and the European Union.

Against this backdrop, a symposium titled “Challenges for Europe" was held in Hannover from 19 to 20 July to offer an international platform for academic exchange. Scholars from all over Europe addressed current and emerging challenges for Europe in project presentations. One of these presentations was held by Prof. Claudius Wagemann, who supervises our ambitious research project:  “Protest and Democracy: How Movement Parties, Social Movements, and Active Citizens are Reshaping Europe".

The project investigates how the triple interaction between citizens, social movements, and movement parties influences democratic quality in Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and the United Kingdom. Consequently, the interplay among citizens, media, and political organizations is at the heart of the project's inquiry.




Handbook of Methods in Political Science now available as print version!

The Handbook of Methods in Political Science is now available as a print version published by Springer VS! Link:

Five years ago, the editors Claudius Wagemann, Markus B. Siewert (Technical University of Munich) and Achim Goerres (University of Duisburg-Essen) had the idea to fill a gap in the market of German publications on political science:  A handbook on the wide range of methods used in empirical political science research was needed. The result is a 914-page volume in which a total of 52 scholars have written 39 chapters on various methods used in the discipline. The fact that the handbook already has attracted a great deal of interest in German-speaking political science is shown by 22 000 downloads since the first online publication in 2018. The authors are convinced of the added value of the now published printed edition of the handbook. The Handbook of Methods in Political Science is equally suitable for research and teaching and thus makes a general contribution to the professionalization of the discipline in the German-speaking area.


Publication by Dr. Benedikt Bender that deals with political-economic conflict lines

In his new book published by Springer VS, Link: Dr. Benedikt Bender examines the position organized interests take in the controversial socio-political reform debates. He finds that trade unions and business associations can act alongside structural and strategic interests: they can either assume similar positions or they could clash in accordance with the classic “worker vs. capital” antagonism. Only through the combination of those theoretical expectations we arrive at a sufficient explanation for the position of organized interest in welfare state change.

Further in the book: a new concept called the ‘degree of limited diversity’ and the suggestion on how to empirically measure the influence of the organized interest on the political process.

Related research projects by Benedikt Bender deal in particular with theoretical reflections on the strategic self-interests of both types of organizations.

Here is the summary 


Team-Wagemann involved in recent publication by Italian political scientist Leonardo Morlino

Equality, Freedom, and Democracy: Europe After the Great Recession by Leonardo Morlino

Equality, Freedom and Democracy: The book by the famous Leonardo Morlino, political scientist, published by Oxford University Press in October 2020, deals with the big questions of political science research in Europe. Claudius Wagemann, who is co-author of the second chapter on inequalities together with Francesco Raniolo, as well as the student assistants Anna Geyer and Joschka Frech (data collection) have also contributed to Morlino's latest publication. The study compares how the core principles of liberal democracy - freedom and equality - have evolved since 1990 in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, with particular reference to the impact of the 2008 Great Recessions. Based on extensive data, the study offers scholars, experts and other interested parties a deep empirical analysis to better understand the opportunities and limitations of the sixth largest European democracies in terms of implementing equality and freedom. In the well-known Morlino tradition, which places the evaluation of the quality of democracy at the forefront of his research, the political scientist ultimately points out different ways to promote the two core principles of liberal democracies under study. In addition to Claudius Wagemann and Francesco Raniolo, Professors Daniela Piano, Mario Quaranta, and Cecillia Emma Sottilotta contributed to the publication.