"Here you can find information about upcoming training, calls for papers, blog posts, and other interesting news!"


CfP "Differentiated policy implementation in the European Union", ECPR joint sessions 2020, Toulouse

posted Sep 8, 2019, 4:21 AM by Eva Thomann

Asya Zhelyazkova, Eva Ruffing, Sebastiaan Princen and I warmly invite paper proposals for our workshop “Differentiated policy implementation in the European Union” at the  ECPR joint sessions in Toulouse, 14-17 April 2020.

The workshop explores the diversity of policy implementation practices in the EU, the drivers of this diversity, as well as its consequences. We currently observe a new generation of policy implementation research which focuses on differentiated policy implementation as a crucial aspect of European integration in practice. The goal of this workshop is to gather this emerging research community and corresponding theories, concepts, and findings. We seek to engage in a systematic mapping of the field, its current state of the art, innovations, as well as areas for future research. Ultimately the workshop should hence provide an important opportunity to identify, clarify, consolidate, and develop the contribution of this agenda to the study of multilevel governance in the EU.

We look forward to receiving your proposal until  5 November 2019. Find more information about the panel and instructions for submitting proposals here:

Panels on behavioral governance and policy implementation @ECPR general conference in Wroclaw

posted Aug 23, 2019, 6:20 AM by Eva Thomann

For those interested in policy implementation and behavioural governance, I would be delighted to meet you at one of these panels that I chair at the European Consortium for Political research, Wroclaw, 4-7 September 2019:

Beyond Nudging – Advancing the Discussion on Behavioural Governance (section: the politics of bureaucracy)
Chairs: Jan Pollex and Eva Thomann, Discussant: Peter John
Contributions by Kathin Loer, Benjamin Ewert, David Legg, Sheheryar Banuri, Peter John 
06/09/2019 17:50 - 19:30, Building B)Faculty of Law, Administration & Economics Floor: 5th floor Room: 501

Revisiting Implementation in the European Union: New Trends in Implementation and Enforcement (section: The European Union in Times of Crisis: Internal Challenges and a Changing Global Order)
Chair: Eva Thomann, Discussants: Ekaterina Domorenok, Jana Paasch
Contributions by Jana Paasch, Christian Stecker, Eva Thomann, Asya Zhelyazkova, Joerg Stefan Haas, Gerard Breeman, Anna Szajkowska, Meredith Ratner
07/09/2019 11:00 - 12:40, Building C, Faculty of Law, Administration & Economics Floor: 2nd floor Room: 201

IPPA best book award for research on customization

posted Jul 9, 2019, 5:05 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Jul 9, 2019, 5:28 AM ]

I am very happy and grateful to have received the 2019 best book award from the International Public Policy Association, for my book Customized implementation of European Union food safety policy: United in diversity? published by Palgrave Macmillan in the International Series on Public Policy. The award is awarded biennially to a single- or co-authored monograph that makes an original and significant theoretical, methodological and/or empirical contribution to the field of Public Policy and/or Public Administration. 

CfP themed issue titled “Beyond nudge. Advancing the state-of-the-art of Behavioural Public Policy” in Policy & Politics

posted Apr 8, 2019, 11:08 AM by Eva Thomann

Kathrin Loer, Benjamin Ewert and I invite paper proposals for a themed issue in Policy & Politics titled “Beyond nudge. Advancing the state-of-the-art of Behavioural Public Policy”. We seek empirical papers based on cutting-edge qualitative, set-theoretic, and/or quantitative research on BPP that fit within the overarching framework of the themed issue. Please find more information in the CfP below.

We look forward to receiving your abstract of 150-300 words before April 15th

Qualitative Methods Summer Training, Penryn, June 2019

posted Feb 5, 2019, 7:45 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Feb 5, 2019, 7:50 AM ]

Comparative Case Study Design

3-7 June 2019
Designing Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
10-14 June 2019

Upgrade your qualitative method skills!
We offer two tailored 5-day (1 week) qualitative methods modules on one of the UK’s most scenic university campuses, close to the lovely beaches of Cornwall. The modules have a practical, hands-on focus on the possibilities and pitfalls of applying a range of comparative qualitative and case study techniques in different research settings. Each module has up to 25 participants and consists of a 3 hour seminar in the morning and a 1 hour lab session in the afternoon each day. You can sign up for one or both modules.

The modules are open to postgraduate research students, PhD students, postdocs, academics, and research-oriented practitioners who engage in social research, across the UK and internationally. Upon completion of a written assignment, each module is credited with an equivalent of 7.5 ECTS points. You can also attend the modules without getting credits if you wish to.

Talk about customization at the London Public Policy Seminars, 11.12.2018

posted Nov 29, 2018, 12:50 AM by Eva Thomann

I look forward to giving a talk at the London Public Policy Seminars, which provide a forum for academic exchange in public policy across the greater London area.

How effective is the EU regulatory state? Linking legal compliance, customization, and practical implementation
When: 6pm, 11 December 2018
Where: 32L.B.07, LSE

European Union (EU) policies change as they are being customised throughout the implementation chain. How do these changes affect the practical implementation of EU policies? While better regulation approaches point to the danger of red tape when deviating from EU law, theories of policy implementation see a role of discretion in decentralised problem-solving. This study analyses how customisation affects the practical compliance with EU antidiscrimination, environmental, and justice and home affairs directives in 27 member states. Results suggest that general customisation levels neither exert a significant direct nor conditional effect on practical compliance. However, higher levels of customised density negatively affect practical compliance. We also find a partly sector-specific, direct positive effect of customised restrictiveness on practical compliance. Thus, while customised density can indeed reinforce problems of red tape, customised restrictiveness can contribute to problem-solving. The crucial distinction is that between changes in the quantity or the quality of regulation.

CfP: Problem-Solving and Learning in Multilevel Governance

posted Nov 29, 2018, 12:37 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Nov 29, 2018, 12:42 AM ]

Call for papers for the 4th International Conference on Public Policy, 26th-28th June 2019 - MONTREAL
Panel chairs:
Eva Thomann and Claire Dunlop, Department of Politics, University of Exeter
Deadline for proposals: 30.1.2019

Multilevel governance is the result of a process in which decision makers shifted competencies away from the nation-state in order to deal with pressing policy challenges that exceed the reach of the central government. As such, multilevel governance is a result of globalization and modernization, based on the assumption of an improved problem-solving capacity. Problem-solving can both be seen as a decision-making mode/process, and as a result of these processes. Trein et al. (2019) define problem-solving as a process through which the policymakers in charge make policies so as to deal with problems that are perceived as important for society by organized groups and/or by policymakers themselves, through the cooperative production of a policy output that is expected to be collectively beneficial in making a contribution to solve the policy problem at stake.
The goal of this panel is to collect contributions that provide theoretical and empirical insights on problem-solving in multilevel governance.
Recent years have witnessed important theoretical, conceptual and empirical innovations in how we think of problem-solving in multilevel governance. Scholars have moved beyond traditional approaches to thinking of multilevel governance mainly in structural terms and through a command-and-control perspective, as these often cannot explain the distinct workings of multilevel governance in the absence of a clear “shadow of hierarchy”. Moreover, there is a move beyond the assumption that policy adoption is the decisive stage of problem-solving. Instead, there is emphasis on the processes of implementation, evaluation, and problem definition, the patterns and underlying mechanisms of differentiation as well convergence. Scholars increasingly emphasize mechanisms of learning (Dunlop et al. 2018) and experimentalist governance (Sabel and Zeiltin 2010) and link such mechanisms with patterns of policy differentiation (e.g., customization), success, and failure (Dunlop 2017; Thomannn 2019).This panel gathers theoretical, conceptual, and empirical contributions by both junior and senior scholars that look at the processes and outcomes of problem-solving and learning in multilevel governance systems in terms of both convergence and differentiation. We particularly invite contributions that either comprehensively review or systematize the state of the art, apply theoretical, conceptual or methodological innovations to empirical settings, connect methods with theories, and/or contribute to innovation themselves.
View the full panel description here

CfP: Case-Oriented and Set - Theoretic Approaches to Comparative Policy Analysis

posted Nov 29, 2018, 12:33 AM by Eva Thomann

Call for papers for the 4th International Conference on Public Policy, 26th-28th June 2019 - MONTREAL

Panel chairs:

Eva Thomann, Department of Politics, University of Exeter

Valerie Pattyn, Institute of Public Administration, Leiden University

Stefan Verweij, Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, University of Groningen
Deadline for proposals: 30.1.2019

Recent years have seen an impressive proliferation of set-theoretic and case-oriented methods in comparative policy analysis in general (see e.g. Rihoux et al. 2011; Thomann 2019), and in policy implementation and evaluation research in particular (Gerrits and Verweij 2018; Pattyn et al. 2017). Case-oriented and set-theoretic approaches to comparative policy analysis, including but not limited to methods such as Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), Coincidence Analysis (CNA, explanatory typologies, and comparative process tracing, are designed to address the challenges of contemporary policy analysis. Situated within a “critical realist” paradigm of social research (Gerrits and Verweij 2013), they model different aspects of causal complexity, such as the prevalence of configurations of different factors leading to policy outputs or outcomes, equifinality (multiple policy strategies or instruments resulting in the same outcome), contextual contingencies, and causal asymmetry. Moreover, they can be applied within a variety of small-N or large-N research approaches to evaluate as well as generate theories through a combination of systematic comparison with targeted in-depth case studies (Thomann and Maggetti 2017).
This panel gathers theoretical, conceptual, and empirical contributions by both junior and senior scholars that deal with case-oriented and set-theoretic approaches and illustrate their potential and limitations to contribute to the theory and practice of policy analysis. We particularly invite contributions that either comprehensively review or systematize the state of the art, apply methodological innovations to empirical settings, connect methods with theories, and/or contribute to methodological innovation themselves. Papers should engage in a critical reflection of methodological aspects and their connection with the theory and/or practice of policy analysis in general, or implementation and evaluation in particular. Abstracts should include a clear puzzle, research question, outline of the approach, research design, and main contribution of the proposed paper. Preference is given to abstracts that demonstrate an understanding of recent methodological developments.

View the full panel description here

Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR) deadline 16.11.2018

posted Nov 12, 2018, 1:47 AM by Eva Thomann

The Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR) at the Maxwell school, Syracuse, still accepts open pool applications until November 16, 2018:

Amongst the “menu” of cutting-edge methods courses is a 2-day module on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) taught by Carsten Q. Schneider and myself.

Two courses on case-oriented methodology and QCA at ECPR winter school

posted Oct 17, 2018, 3:50 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Oct 17, 2018, 3:57 AM ]

I am offering two courses at the ECPR winter school of methods and techniques.

The early bird registration is still open until  31.10.2018, don't miss it!

WA102 -  Foundations of case-oriented and set-theoretic thinking and methodology


This course introduces to the logic and basics of case-oriented and set-theoretic methods. We start by reflecting on different types of research questions, evidence and observations, causal effects and causal mechanisms. The course then covers the basics of set theory, sets, set calibration, and logical operations. We will discuss different perspectives on causation (probabilistic versus deterministic, symmetric versus asymmetric, causal complexity, context) and the logic of necessary and sufficient conditions. We will apply these notions by looking at different ways of defining, structuring, and operationalizing social science concepts.                                                                                       


WD103 - Introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)


This course introduces to crisp set and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and its analysis in R. We will look at the origins, analytic aims, and variants of QCA and deal in depth with techniques and practices of set calibration. The nuts and bolts the QCA technique, from parameters of fit to all steps of the analyses of necessity and sufficiency, are illustrated based on an empirical example study which we replicate in class. We will then cover the presentation and interpretation of QCA results, as well as ways to deal with limited diversity and other potential pitfalls. Hands-on exercises and daily lab sessions provide opportunities for practice and engagement.

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