Abbott, A. (1998) ‘The causal devolution’, Sociological Methods and Research, 27 (2): 148–181.
There are not many clear discussions of the nature of causality and how causal relationships are established, but this article is well worth a read.
Gorard, S. (2013) Research Design. Creating Robust Approaches for the Social Sciences. London: Sage Publications.
A critical focus on the warranting of research claims all related to the idea of design in research. If you ever read a book on research design, then this is the one to read. Chapter 4 on warranting research claims is a must.
Yang, K. (2010) Making Sense of Statistical Methods in Social Research. London: Sage Publications.
Chapter 11 is on causal analysis. It covers basic concepts and issues in causal analysis, examines the extent to which regression analysis can establish causes, and discusses the role of counterfactuals.