In this chapter we describe how critical realism makes sense of causal explanations. To this end, we refer to the major contributions of Roy Bhaskar in providing a stratified social ontology that overcomes the shortcomings of both Humean empiricism and interpretivism. Next, we explain how the concept of emergence enables us to view relational properties as the key to identifying the generative mechanisms that make things happen under specific conditions and in specific contexts. We provide details as to the differences between reductionist conceptions of causal explanations based on individually centred mechanisms and Donati’s and Elder-Vaas’ arguments concerning the relational mechanisms.