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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Comparative Policy Analysis

Edited by B. Guy Peters, Maurice Falk Professor of Government, University of Pittsburgh, US and Guillaume Fontaine, Professor, Department of Public Affairs, FLACSO, Ecuador
Public policy research has become increasingly comparative over the past several decades, but the methodological issues involved in this research have not been discussed adequately. This Handbook provides a discussion of the fundamental methodological issues in comparative policy research, as well as descriptions and analyses of major techniques used for that research. The techniques discussed are both quantitative and qualitative, and all are embedded in the broader discussion of comparative research design.
Extent: c 496 pp
Hardback Price: $290.00 Web: $261.00
Publication Date: April 2020
ISBN: 978 1 78811 118 8
Availability: Not yet published

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  • eISBN: 978 1 78811 119 5

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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Research Methods in Politics and Public Policy
  • Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Research Methods in Politics and Public Policy
  • Research Methods
This timely Handbook offers a wide-ranging examination of contemporary comparative policy analysis (CPA), advancing the understanding of methodology in the study of comparative public policies, and broadening the array of methods and techniques deployed by scholars in the field.
Internationally acclaimed contributors overcome the current concentration on quantitative techniques, engaging with a more conscious and comprehensive selection of methods to improve the quality of CPA. Providing an overview of the major theoretical issues currently under discussion in CPA and the methodological shift in social sciences, this Handbook argues for the utilization of a range of alternative approaches to maximize the utility of the research.
Far-reaching and comprehensive, this Handbook offers an insightful overview of methods for researchers of CPA looking to broaden their methodological repertoire. It will also be useful for students of public policy and the social sciences in need of a guide to contemporary research methods and applications.

‘An excellent, timely and accessible collection by internationally renowned contributors, this Handbook provides cutting-edge treatment of methods in comparative public policy, as well as their strengths and weaknesses for addressing theoretical issues. It is an absolute must for students, teachers and policy analysts, and I warmly recommend it to them.’
– Moshe Maor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Contributors include: C. Anckar, L. Chaqués-Bonafont, D. Dickson, K. Dowding, A.S. Dubé, W.N. Dunn, T. Erkkilä, G. Fontaine, I. Geva-May, F. Gilardi, A.D. Henry, D.C. Hoffman, K. Ingold, G. Jaramillo, P. John, M.D. Jones, A. Kay, P. Marier, A. Molenveld, J. Muhleisen, D. Nohrstedt, R. Pacheco-Vega, B.G. Peters, O. Porto de Oliveira, J. Schnepf, A. Smith-Walter, E. Thomann, J. Tosun, C.M. Weible, B. Wüest


1. Introduction to the Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Comparative Policy Analysis: An Introductory Study
B. Guy Peters and Guillaume Fontaine

Part I The Methodological Debate
2. The Comparative Method and Comparative Policy Analysis
B. Guy Peters

3. The Most Similar- and Most Different Systems Design in Comparative Policy Analysis
Carsten Anckar

4. Can a Case-Study Test a Theory? Types and Tokens in Comparative Policy Analysis
Keith Dowding

Part II Theoretical Challenges
5. Comparing Policy Processes: Insights and Lessons from the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) Research Program
Daniel Nohrsted, Christopher M Weible, Karin Ingold, and Adam D. Henry

6. Comparing Agenda-Settings: The Comparative Agendas Project
Laura Chaqués Bonafont, Christoffer Green Pedersen and Henrik Bech Seeberg

7. Comparing Historical Cases: Advances in Comparative Historical Research
Grace Jaramillo

8. Comparing Policy Transfers: Qualitative Methods from International Studies
Osmany Porto de Oliveira

Part III Measurement and Experimental Methods
9. Using Experiments in Comparative Policy Analysis: From Policy Evaluation to the Policy Process
Peter John

10. Measuring Change in Comparative Policy Analysis: Concepts and Empirical Approaches
Jale Tosun and Julia Schnepf

11. Using Indexes in Comparative Policy Analysis: Global Comparisons
Tero Erkkilä

12. Using Text-as-Data Methods in Comparative Policy Analysis
Fabrizio Gilardi and Bruno Wuest

Part IV Mixed Methods and Multi-Methods
13. Multiple Triangulation for Comparative Policy Analysis
William Dunn and B. Guy Peters

14. Causal Case Studies for Comparative Policy Analysis
Derek Beach

15. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) for Comparative Policy Analysis
Eva Thomann

16. Process Tracing for Comparative Policy Analysis: A Realist Approach
Guillaume Fontaine

Part V Qualitative Techniques
17. Using Focus Groups in Comparative Policy Analysis
Patrick Marier, Daniel Dickson and Anne-Sophie Dubé

18. Using Ethnography in Comparative Policy Analysis: Premises, Promises and Perils
Raul Pacheco-Vega

19. Using the Q Methodology in Comparative Policy Analysis
Astrid Molenveld

20. Using the Narrative Policy Framework in Comparative Policy Analysis
Aaron Smith-Walter and Michael Jones

Part VI Issues for Further Research
21. Trends in the Development of Comparative Policy Analysis
Iris Geva-May, David C. Hoffman and Joselyn Muhleisen

22. Evolutionary Theory in Comparative Policy Analysis
Adrian Kay