Process Tracing in the Development and Validation of Theoretical Explanations: The Example of Environmental Policy-Making in the EU


This article recalls a distinction between research designs that focus on either the ‘causes of effects’ or the ‘effects of causes’ and compares it to a related but not identical distinction between the aims of developing and testing theoretical explanations. Using a study on environmental policy-making in the European Union as an example, the roles of process tracing and cross-case analysis in different combinations of these categories are highlighted.

European Political Science 12(1): 75–85