Process-Tracing Research Designs: A Practical Guide
by Jacob I. Ricks, Singapore Management University and Amy H. Liu, University of Texas at Austin
Despite the popularity of process-tracing methods in social science research, instructions on developing effective process-tracing research designs are relatively sparse, especially when we consider teaching materials. In this essay, we provide a step-by-step practical guide for designing a process-tracing research project. Our discussion of process-tracing focuses on a checklist to facilitate its use by both researchers as well as students; indeed, our hope is that the essay helps political science teachers incorporate teaching process-tracing as part of both methods and substantive courses.