Table of Contents:
The dissertation is divided in two parts: In the first section, Multi-Value QCA (MVQCA) is developed and described in the context of the groups of configurational-comparative methods. To do so, this group of methods is first introduced and compared to other groups of methods used with comparative analysis in political science. Then, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as developed by Charles Ragin is introduced in detail by explaining the epistemological assumption behind and the calculations performed within the method. Building on a discussion of the problems related to the QCA method, the multi valued extension of QCA – MVQCA – is developed, which allows coping with one of the main restrictions of QCA, the compulsory use of dichotomous data. The first part is finished with a discussion of the main problems occurring using QCA and MVQCA.
To illustrate the use of MVQCA, a detailed study of the conditions of success of Green Parties is conducted in the second part of the dissertation. The research question is why Green Parties founded in the western democracies in the 1970s and 1980s were successful in some countries, whilst this was not the case in other countries. A number of possible factors that can explain this variation of success has been discussed in previous research, but there has not been given a clear explanation of this phenomenon. In the second part thus, first a short discussion of the nature of Green Parties is given to derive a list of parties, which can be considered as ‘Green Parties’. Then, building on former research on this topic, some first possible conditions of success of Green Parties are identified, which are then joined by the use of MVQCA and the addition of a further condition, to derive an unambiguous explanation of the success of Green Parties, which fits to all cases included in the analysis. It is shown that the success of these parties was dependent on institutional factors (beneficial voting rules) as well as a high socio-economic development and the presence of strong political conflicts on ecological issues, as the introduction of nuclear power energy. By the use of MVQCA it is shown that none of these conditions can account for the variation of success on its own, but that in fact only a concomitance of these factors gives a complex explanation on this question.
Beside the used data, a description of the algorithms used with MVQCA as implemented in the TOSMANA (Tool for Small-N Analysis) software is also included in the appendix.