European Political Science

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 75–85 | Cite as

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

  • Henning Deters


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.


process tracing causal perspectives environmental policy joint-decision trap 


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henning Deters
    • 1
  1. 1.Sfb 597 Staatlichkeit im Wandel, Universität BremenBremenGermany

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