Qualitative Methods in Comparative Constitutional Law: a Plea for Process Tracing

In the current methodological debate in comparative constitutional law, there is little reflection on the use of qualitative methodology and its methodological implications. The proposed paper advocates process tracing is a qualitative methodology that is well suited for use in comparative constitutional law and discusses the methodological implications. The argument consists of three steps. First, the paper argues that quantitative approaches have certain shortcomings so that they need to complemented by qualitative studies. Second, the paper argues that process tracing is the perfect complement to quantitative approaches, remedying some of the shortcomings of the latter. In the final part, the paper will give some guidelines on how process tracing might be used in comparative constitutional law.