Academic Coordinators

Meet the Academic Coordinators  

The Academic Coordinators are the initiators of MethodsNET. They ensure the implementation of strategic decisions, coordinate daily operations and communicate on behalf of MethodsNET.

From left to right: Benoît Rihoux, Derek Beach, Cai Wilkinson & Levente Littvay (Aarhus, strategy retreat, 15 November 2022)

Derek Beach is a professor of Political Science at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches case study methodology, international relations, and European integration. He has authored articles, chapters, and books on research methodology, referendums, and European integration, and co-authored the books Process-tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines and Causal Case Studies (both with University of Michigan Press). He is currently managing a four-year research project aimed at developing better tools for mechanism-focused research.

He acted as academic convenor of the ECPR Method Schools from 2014 - 2021. Derek has taught qualitative case study methods at ECPR and IPSA summer and winter schools, held short courses at the APSA annual meeting on Process-tracing and case-based research, and numerous workshops and seminars on process tracing methods throughout the world.

Levente Littvay is Professor of Political Science at Central European University where he teaches grad courses in research design, applied statistics, electoral politics, voting behavior, political psychology, American politics and is the inaugural recipient of CEU's Distinguished Teaching Award (2015 - for methods teaching) and the CEU Teaching Excellence Award (2021 - for online education). In 2019-2020 he was the European University Institute’s Fernand Braudel Senior Research Fellow. Received his MA and PhD in Political Science and an MS in Survey Research and Methodology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Consults regularly, taught numerous research methods workshops and was one of the Academic Convenors of the European Consortium for Political Research Methods Schools (2015-2021), head of Team Survey in Team Populism where he helped spawn the New Populism series with The Guardian and member of the European Social Survey’s Round 10 (2020-21) democracy and COVID module questionnaire design teams. Secured close to a million EUR in grants to conduct research on survey and quantitative methodology, twin and family studies, and the psychology of radicalism and populism. Has publications in Social Justice Research for which he received the Morton Deutsch Award for best article in 2017, Political Analysis, The Journal of Politics, among others, and along with other medical journals, in Twin Research and Human Genetics where he is Associate Editor for Social Sciences. He is Specialty Chief Editor for Methods and Measurement at Frontiers in Political Science. Books include Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling with Bruno Castanho Silva and Constantin Manuel Bosancianu in SAGE QASS (little green book) series

Benoît Rihoux is full professor in political science at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain). He is an international leader in the field of comparative methods and designs, in particular around Configurational Comparative Methods (CCMs) and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). He also publishes on mixed- and multimethod designs and is involved in diverse disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects, also including management, evaluation, development, health systems research and medicine, involving QCA and multi-method designs. He is the initiator and coordinator of the worldwide network in the field of CCMs (COMPASSS) gathering around 2.000 researchers and practitioners. He has produced multiple reference publications on QCA and has co-edited the most cited textbook on the topic (Rihoux and Ragin 2009: 2.500+ citations). He has taught QCA, comparative research designs, research design and soft skills for researchers at diverse venues across Europe and North America, as well as in Japan and in Burundi. He was joint Academic Convenor of the ECPR Methods School, the largest and most pluralist set of methods training events in Europe, between its launch in 2006 and 2021. He has held diverse institutional positions; he is currently member of the Research Council of the UCLouvain, Coordinator of Belgian North-South cooperation to support the setting up of PhD training in Burundi, and President of the Ethics committee of his Institute (ISPOLE) at the UCLouvain.

Cai Wilkinson is an Associate Professor in International Relations at Deakin University in Australia, with teaching interests in the areas of Critical Security Studies, genders and sexualities in international relations, and intercultural communication. Her research focuses on how identity shapes people’s individual and collective experiences of in/security, which she investigates using critical interpretive ethnographic methods. Cai has conducted fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan on societal security and on LGBTQ activism, coached on humanitarian leadership courses and led experiential learning programmes in Japan, the US and Sri Lanka. She is the author of a number of papers and book chapters that explore how field-based methods can be used to research security, and from 2012–2018 convened the Critical Security Studies Methods Café at the International Studies Association annual convention.

Support staff (A-Z)

Ia Ashirova (student intern): data officer

Christopher Crellin (PhD researcher, ISPOLE/UCLouvain): events support

Anna-Maria Gkopi (student intern): data officer and internal communication

Catherine Goossens: administrative support

Ling Leung (student intern): social media officer

Henry Maes (PhD researcher, ISPOLE/UCLouvain): outreach officer; events support

Mariana Ruiz Acosta (student intern): data officer

Iremgül Utlu (PhD researcher, ISPOLE/UCLouvain): data officer; events support

Past support staff members, with thanks (A-Z): Houda Belhadi, data officer; Cian McDonnell, data officer; Callixte Nizigama, data officer.