Typologies are omnipresent both in everyday life as well as in the sciences. Epistemologically, there are several systematic ways to build typologies, such as qualitative, theory-based descriptions on one end and quantitative, exploratory statistical means on the other end of the spectrum. Both have their specific advantages and disadvantages, which can be bridged by applying set-theoretic methods, such as Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). The contribution of this paper is substantial and methodological: First, we show how QCA can enhance our understanding of media systems by building a typology that draws on Hallin and Mancini’s framework. The main improvement of QCA is the ability to identify ideal types as well as border cases. In our analysis, we move beyond the widely discussed case of Great Britain and take a closer look at further border cases such as Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Second, QCA has been scarcely applied to build typologies and if so, only in neighboring disciplines. Thus, we aim at familiarizing comparative political communication scholars with this method.
Büchel, Florin; Humprecht, Edda; Castro-Herrero, Laia; Engesser, Sven; Brüggemann, Michael (2016): Building Empirical Typologies with QCA: Toward a Classification of Media Systems. In The International Journal of Press/Politics 21 (2), pp. 209–232. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161215626567.