albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
14 March 2022

Bayesian Reasoning with Tasha Fairfield

Matias Lopez converses with Tasha Fairfield in the latest episode of our podcast series.

The seventh episode of the Research at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy continues our miniseries on methods. Matias Lopez, post-doctoral researcher at the Centre, returns to host the second part of this miniseries. Along with guest Prof. Tasha Fairfield from the London School of Economics and Political Science, they discuss Bayesian reasoning in case study research.

After the previous episode in the series discussed the role of research design in delimiting the information that statistics can grant to scholars of democracy and beyond trespassing methods with leading political methodologist Jake Bowers, the second episode brings along a host of new topics revolutionizing the field of qualitative methods.

Complex topics and arguments on methods are made clearer by this conversation, which brings us into the fascinating world of statistical reasoning in case study research. A discussion on the power of Bayesian reasoning, spearheaded by the award-winning Fairfield. The episode offers a fresh approach on ancient questions bringing seemingly opposite reasoning together in order to advance research.

Fairlfield explains the benefits of relying on probability theory while conducting qualitative research. The discussion covers the implications of her Bayesian framework to more traditional methodologies such as process tracing, QCA, and the classic comparative method.

This episode builds on the methods questions brought up in the series debut as the series continues to unfold the fascinating world of research for democracy and broadens our scope. Join them as they discuss how statistical reasoning can help qualitative case studies.