This chapter summarizes general features of the book’s overall approach to study morality policies from a cross-national and cross-temporal perspective. Building on a new dataset compiled within the MORAPOL project, the chapter focuses on empirical patterns in eight different policy areas and nineteen European countries, over a time period of fifty years (1960–2010). In a second step, the basic empirical and theoretical findings are presented. We begin with a discussion of central mechanisms triggering changes of the status quo of moral regulation. In a second step, we concentrate on the factors that affect the direction of change, that is, the moves towards different styles of moral regulation. The final part discusses the general implication of the book for the study of public policy in general. While a first central implication refers to the measurement of policy change in general, a second issue touches upon the explanatory scope that should guide policy analysis.
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