One of the goals of the social sciences is to understand social phenomena, that is to exhibit the mechanism underlying and bringing them about. This task goes beyond description: to exhibit this mechanism requires identifying causal relations between variables of interest. In quantitative social research, causal models are used to provide such explanations of social phenomena. This paper investigates whether causal models can be seen as models of explanation, and argues that causal modelling, by modelling causal mechanisms, provides (or ought to provide) genuine causal explanations and should be considered as a model of explanation, notably a hypothetico-deductive model of explanation
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