Publications of Schneider, C.Q.

Comparing public communication in democracies and autocracies: automated text analyses of speeches by heads of government

Renewed efforts at empirically distinguishing between different forms of political regimes leave out the cultural dimension. In this article, we demonstrate how modern computational tools can be used to fill this gap. We employ web-scraping techniques to generate a data set of speeches by heads of government in European democracies and autocratic regimes around the globe. Our data set includes 4740 speeches delivered between 1999 and 2019 by 40 political leaders of 27 countries. By scaling the results of a dictionary application, we show how, in comparative terms, liberal or illiberal the leaders present themselves to their national and international audience. In order to gauge whether our liberalness scale reveals meaningful distinctions, we perform a series of validity tests: criterion validity, qualitative hand-coding, unsupervised topic modeling, and network analysis. All tests suggest that our liberalness scale does capture meaningful differences between political regimes despite the large heterogeneity of our data.

Schneider CQ. Macro-Qualitative Approaches. In: Merkel W, Kollmorgen R, Wagener HJ, editors. Handbook of Political, Social, and Economic Transformation. Oxford University Press; 2018. p. 173-80.

Macro-Qualitative Approaches

Political, social, and economic transformation is a complex historical phenomenon. It can adequately be analysed only by a multidisciplinary approach. The Handbook brings together an international team of scholars who are specialists in their respective research fields. It introduces the most important areas, theories, and methods in transformation research, with particular attention placed on the historical and comparative dimension. Although focussing on post-communist and other democratic transformations in our epoch, the Handbook therefore presents and discusses not only their problems, paths, and developments, but also deals with the antecedent 'waves', beginning with the Meiji Restoration in Japan in 1868 and its aftermath. The book is structured into six parts. Starting with basic concepts as systems, actors, and institutions (Section I), it gives an overview over major theoretical approaches and research methods (Sections II and III). The connection of theory and method with their application is essential, allowing special insights into the past and opens analytical avenues for transformation research in the future. Section (IV) provides a historically oriented description or interpretation of particular 'waves' or types of societal transformation. With a clear focus on present transformations, the contributions to Section V provide a description and discussion of the problems, structures, actors, and courses of the transformations within different spheres of (civil) society, politics, law, and economics. Finally, brief lexicographic entries in Section VI delineate research perspectives and facts about relevant issues of societal transformation. Each of the 79 contributions contains a concise list of the most important research literature.

Two-Step QCA Revisited: The Necessity of Context Conditions

The so-called two-step QCA approach as formulated by Schneider and Wagemann (Eur J Polit Res 45(5):751–786, 2006) proposes a separation of conditions into two distinct groups—remote and proximate—and to analyze the impact of these conditions on the outcome in a stepwise manner. While the general logic of the two-step protocol seems to resonate with a broad range of scholars, it, so far, has been only rarely (successfully) applied. This paper argues that this discrepancy between theory and practice is due to the ill-defined nature of the first step. Schneider and Wagemann propose step 1 to be an analysis of inconsistent sufficiency. This has always stood on shaky set-relational grounds. I therefore argue that the first of the two steps in the protocol should be redefined as an analysis of necessity and only step 2 understood as an analysis of sufficiency. While already implicit in its original formulation, this crucial feature of the two-step QCA approach has largely been overlooked. This paper proposes an updated two-step QCA approach that rests on recent innovations in set methods and spells out the advantages of this new protocol.

Realists and Idealists in QCA

The sole purpose of the enhanced standard analysis (ESA) is to prevent so-called untenable assumptions in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). One source of such assumptions can be statements of necessity. QCA realists, the majority of QCA researchers, have elaborated a set of criteria for meaningful claims of necessity: empirical consistency, empirical relevance, and conceptual meaningfulness. I show that once Thiem’s (2017) data mining approach to detecting supersets is constrained by adhering to those standards, no CONSOL effect of Schneider and Wagemann’s ESA exists. QCA idealists, challenging most of QCA realists’ conventions, argue that separate searches for necessary conditions are futile because the most parsimonious solution formula reveals the minimally necessary disjunction of minimally sufficient conjunctions. Engaging with this perspective, I address several unresolved empirical and theoretical issues that seem to prevent the QCA idealist position from becoming mainstream.

A Unifying Framework for Causal Analysis in Set-Theoretic Multimethod Research

The combination of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) with process tracing, which we call set-theoretic multimethod research (MMR), is steadily becoming more popular in empirical research. Despite the fact that both methods have an elected affinity based on set theory, it is not obvious how a within-case method operating in a single case and a cross-case method operating on a population of cases are compatible and can be combined in empirical research. There is a need to reflect on whether and how set-theoretic MMR is internally coherent and how QCA and process tracing can be integrated in causal analysis. We develop a unifying foundation for causal analysis in set-theoretic MMR that highlights the roles and interplay of QCA and process tracing. We argue that causal inference via counterfactuals on the level of single cases integrates QCA and process tracing and assigns proper and equally valuable roles to both methods.

Legitimation, Cooptation, and Repression and the Survival of Electoral Autocracies

Conceptualizing the “three pillars of stability”, Gerschewski (2013) proposes legitimation, cooptation and repression as the fundamental principles of lasting autocratic rule. Recent studies put this so-called WZB model to an empirical test and probe the effects these three factors have on regime survival in light of autocratic elections (Lueders and Croissant 2014). Their finding that the WZB model has only limited explanatory power in competitive autocracies has sparked a broader debate about the empirical application of the model as such (Kailitz and Tanneberg 2015; Lueders and Croissant 2015). Our paper contributes to this debate in several ways: (1) rather than analyzing each pillar’s effect in isolation, we investigate their combined effect; (2) rather than assuming causal symmetry, we expect to find different explanations for autocratic stability and breakdown, respectively; (3) by focusing on configurations of the pillars, we are in the position to identify distinct types – or “worlds” (Gerschewski 2013) – of (un)stable autocracies. Using the data from Lueders and Croissant (2014) on elections in hegemonic and competitive authoritarian regimes between 1990 and 2009, we apply fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to empirically investigate which, if any, combination of the dimensions of legitimation, cooptation, and repression lead to the survival of autocratic regimes and which ones to their breakdown. Our findings suggest that single pillars in isolation are causally irrelevant; that the WZB model is, indeed, capable of identifying stable autocracy types but it does not perform well in identifying the reasons why autocracies break down; and that the two viable types of autocracies identified by us are meaningfully distinguished by their different legitimation strategies.

Real Differences and Overlooked Similarities. Set-Methods in Comparative Perspective

Jack Paine (JP) and Alrik Thiem, Michael Baumgartner, and Damien Bol (TBB) provide diametrically opposed answers to the hotly debated question as to whether set-theory-based methods constitute a family of methods sui generis or whether not only set methods can be subsumed under the existing statistical framework, but also, if so, should be abandoned. I find TBB’s argument convincing that due to their different mathematical foundations, these two families of methods cannot be directly translated, let alone unified into one. Notwithstanding this, it seems clear to me that work must continue on identifying conceptual similarities and differences, and to elaborate on each method’s respective strengths and weaknesses. Because I mostly agree with TBB, I only briefly comment on some of their claims and then dedicate the rest of the text to JP.

Schneider CQ. Makro-Qualitative Verfahren. In: Kollmorgen R, Merkel W, Wagener H-J, editors. Handbuch der Transformationsforschung. Berlin: Springer; 2014. p. 221-9.

Forms of Welfare Capitalism and Education-Based Participatory Inequality

Scholars studying democracy are just beginning to investigate the specifically political consequences of rising socio-economic inequalities. This paper analyses whether the degree of political inequality between social groups is shaped by features of the welfare capitalist system. Specifically, we hypothesize that more labour protection and social support decrease participatory inequality via more evenly distributed resources and engagement between high- and low educated citizens. Our regression analyses combining micro- and macro-level data from 37 capitalist democracies over the past 20 years provide evidence that some protective and supportive elements of welfare capitalism reduce education-based participatory inequality. Our fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis identifies three functionally equivalent types of welfare capitalism that all produce low participatory inequality via increased protection, support or both. Finally, we empirically demonstrate that the mechanisms behind this link are, indeed, a more equal distribution of resources and engagement across low- and high educated citizens.

Schneider CQ. Sind Demokratien besser als Autokratien? In: Oschema K, von Luxburg U, Helbling M, editors. Wissenschaft 2014. Ein Kalender der Ambivalenzen. Thorbecke; 2013. p. 72-3.

Combining QCA and Process Tracing in Set-Theoretic Multi-Method Research

Set-theoretic methods and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in particular are case-based methods. There are, however, only few guidelines on how to combine them with qualitative case studies. Contributing to the literature on multi-method research (MMR), we offer the first comprehensive elaboration of principles for the integration of QCA and case studies with a special focus on case selection. We show that QCA's reliance on set-relational causation in terms of necessity and sufficiency has important consequences for the choice of cases. Using real world data for both crisp-set and fuzzy-set QCA, we show what typical and deviant cases are in QCA-based MMR. In addition, we demonstrate how to select cases for comparative case studies aiming to discern causal mechanisms and address the puzzles behind deviant cases. Finally, we detail the implications of modifying the set-theoretic cross-case model in the light of case-study evidence. Following the principles developed in this article should increase the inferential leverage of set-theoretic MMR.

Schneider CQ, Wagemann C. Are We All Set? Newsletter of the APSA Organized Section for Qualitative & Multi-Method Research. 2013;11(Spring):5-8.
Schneider CQ, Wagemann C. Fuzzy Set are Sets: A Reply to Goertz and Mahoney. Newsletter of the APSA Organized Section for Qualitative & Multi-Method Research. 2013;11(Spring):19-22.

Comparative Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: Mapping Publications Over the Past Twenty Years

This article offers a new empirical perspective on the state of Comparative Politics (CP) in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We present findings on the authors, methods, and epistemology of CP publications in the most relevant journals from eleven countries in the region. The major finding is that CP is rather marginal in CEE Political Science. Furthermore, CP articles predominantly focus on the authors’ country of origin, use off-the-shelf data, apply mostly qualitative data analysis techniques, and rarely take a historical perspective.

Schneider CQ. Doktorandenprogramme. In: von Klatt M, Koller S, editors. Lehre als Abenteuer. Anregungen für eine bessere Hochschulausbildung. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag; 2012. p. 59-66.
Schneider CQ. Internationalisierung. In: von Klatt M, Koller S, editors. Lehre als Abenteuer. Anregungen für eine bessere Hochschulausbildung. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag; 2012. p. 120-4.

Comparative Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: Mapping Publications Over the Past 20 Years

This article offers a new empirical perspective on the state of Comparative Politics (CP) in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We present findings on the authors, methods, and epistemology of CP publications in the most relevant journals from eleven countries in the region. The major finding is that CP is rather marginal in CEE Political Science. Furthermore, CP articles predominantly focus on the authors’ country of origin, use off-the-shelf data, apply mostly qualitative data analysis techniques, and rarely take a historical perspective.

Does set-relational causation fit into a potential outcomes framework? An Assessment of Gerring’s Proposal

One of John Gerring’s aims in his intriguing treatment of social science methodology is the development of a unified account for causal inference on the basis of the potential outcomes (PO) framework (Gerring, John (2012): Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.). Over the past two decades, the PO framework has become central in quantitative analyses. In qualitative research, in contrast, set theory and set-relational (SR) forms of causation and empirical research have started to play an ever more important role. According to Gerring, the PO account is the more general framework and is able to accommodate SR causation such as necessity and sufficiency. In our contribution to this symposium, we discuss the viability of Gerring’s proposal on how to perform SR research on the basis of the PO framework. Most importantly, we show that the suggested procedure can produce false negatives – indicating the absence of a set relation when, in fact, one exists – and false positives – suggesting the presence of a set relation when there is none. In the concluding section, we detail that if the PO and SR frameworks are truly compatible, all of these SR features must be transposed into the PO framework.

Schneider CQ, Wagemann C. Standards guter Praxis in Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) und Fuzzy-Sets. In: Pickel G, hans-Joachim Lauth, Jahn D, editors. Neue Entwicklungen und Anwendungen auf dem Gebiet der Methoden der vergleichenden Politik- und Sozialwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag; 2009. p. 387-412.
Schneider CQ. Opposition in Transition. Does Unity Bring Dictators Down? A QCA-Reanalysis of Howerd&Roessler's Study of Liberalizing Electoral Outcomes. In: “Stand und Zukunft der Vergleichenden Politikwissenschaft”, organized by the Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft (DVPW). Delmenhorst; 2007.
Schneider CQ. Qualitative Comparative Analysis und Fuzzy Sets. In: Gschwend T, Schindler D, Schnapp K-U, editors. Methoden der Politikwissenschaft: Neuere qualitative und quantitative Analyseverfahren. Baden-Baden: Nomos; 2006. p. 273-85.
Schneider CQ. Patterns of consolidated democracies. Europe and Latin America compared. Florence: Thesis defended at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute; 2004.
Schneider CQ. The fuzzy-set/QCA two-step approach to middle-range theories. Prepared for delivery at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 2 - September 5, 2004, Chicago; 2004.
Wagemann C, Schneider CQ. Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fs/QCA): ein Zwei-Stufen-Modul. In: Pickel G, hans-Joachim Lauth, Jahn D, editors. Vergleichende politikwissenschaftliche Methoden – Neue Entwicklungen und Diskussionen. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag; 2003. p. 105-34.
Schneider CQ. Korruption und Vertrauen in Implementationsinstitutionen: ein Vergleich Lateinamerikas mit konsolidierten Demokratien. In: hans-Joachim Lauth, Pickel G, editors. Rechtsstaat und Demokratie. Theoretische und empirische Studien zum Recht in der Demokratie. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag; 2001. p. 275-98.