Fuzzy set approaches to the study of global civil society Academic Article uri icon


  • Introduction This chapter builds on the comparative-historical approach to studying global civil society presented in Global Civil Society 2005/6 (Anheier and Katz 2005). There, we suggested this approach in order to remedy some of the methodological problems that plague the study of transnational aspects and processes: the complexity of the phenomena involved, the limited number of cases available for analysis, the paucity of data in terms of coverage and quality, and the tendency of conventional statistical methods to emphasise the outcome rather than the process of causality. Drawing on the work of Ragin (1987) and others, we suggested that the qualitative comparative method (QCA) and the basic set theory it builds on could be a useful tool for the analysis of global civil society. Yet QCA has its limitations in the sense that it treats social phenomena as dichotomous, meaning that in QCA a case either demonstrates or doesn't demonstrate …

publication date

  • January 1, 2006