Process Tracing: From Philosophical Roots to Best Practices (SWP 21)

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Final version of this paper was published as ch. 1 Process Tracing: from Philosophical Roots to Best Practices in Process Tracing in the Social Sciences: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool, in A. Bennett and J.T. Checkel, eds. 3-38. 2014.  Available via publisher website here.

 

Bennett, Andrew and Jeffrey T. Checkel, Process Tracing: From Philosophical Roots to Best Practices, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 21/2012, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, June 2012.

Date created: 
2012
Identifier: 
ISSN 1922-5725
Keywords: 
Process tracing
Social science methodology
Causal mechanisms
Abstract: 

This paper has two overarching goals – to summarize recent developments on the philosophical and practical dimensions of process tracing, and to identify features common to best practices of it on different kinds of arguments, with different kinds of available evidence, in different substantive research domains. First, we define process tracing and discuss its foundations in the philosophy of social science. Next, we address its techniques and evidentiary sources, and advance ten criteria for judging its quality in particular pieces of research. Finally, we analyze the methodological issues specific to process tracing on general categories of theories, including structural-institutional, cognitive-psychological, and sociological. 

Description: 
Language: 
English
Document type: 
Other
Rights: 
Rights remain with the author.
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