Identifying context and cause in small-N settings : a comparative multilevel analysis

Thomann, Eva ; Manatschal, Anita

Additional URL:
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: Policy sciences
Volume: 49
Issue number: 3
Page range: 335-348
Place of publication: Dordrecht
Publishing house: Springer Science + Business Media
ISSN: 0032-2687 ; 1573-0891
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department B
Subject: 320 Political science
Abstract: Qualitative small-N comparisons face the challenge to detect context-bound causality under conditions of limited empirical diversity. Rather than treating context as a causal factor, we test the usefulness of the novel method of comparative multilevel analysis (CMA) to identify and understand the role of context as a contingent necessary condition that enables a causal relationship to unfold. Combining CMA with pairwise comparisons, we assess how organ donation policies in Switzerland and Spain affect relatives’ refusal rates in a small-N setting exhibiting multiple contextual levels. To tackle limited diversity systematically, we suggest to refine the CMA methodology by accounting for several contexts and referring to higher-order constructs. Applying CMA with these refinements, we find voluntary information measures only affect refusal rates in contexts of a credible state explicitly supporting organ donation. The fact that CMA can easily be combined with other analytical and conceptual approaches makes it an effective technique to identify contextual effects in small-N research.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

Metadata export


+ Search Authors in

+ Page Views

Hits per month over past year

Detailed information

You have found an error? Please let us know about your desired correction here: E-Mail

Actions (login required)

Show item Show item