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A New Handbook of Political Science$
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Robert E. Goodin and Hans-Dieter Klingemann

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294719.001.0001

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Public Policy and Administration: Comparative Policy Analysis

Public Policy and Administration: Comparative Policy Analysis

Chapter:
(p.593) Chapter 25 Public Policy and Administration: Comparative Policy Analysis
Source:
A New Handbook of Political Science
Author(s):

Richard I. Hofferbert

David Louis Cingranelli

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294719.003.0025

How can we explain policy similarities and differences across time, jurisdiction, and country? Examples are offered in a comparison of social and economic context, the role of institutions, ideology, democratic type, industrialization, and social change as they account for two political outcomes: welfare policy and party election programs. Key methodological and theoretical issues are raised, relating to the empirical demands of causality and contingency. ‘How politics matters’ is ultimately left unanswered because of methodological indeterminacies, though three findings remain: policies are not made in a socio‐economic vacuum, institutional effects are still an open question, and policy conditions are attributable to partisan conditions.

Keywords:   causality, comparative policy analysis, contingency, institutions, party election programmes, welfare policy

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