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Evan Berman and Don-Yun Chen

This chapter argues that public administration and governance practices vary across countries and jurisdictions and there is much to learn from comparing these. Key foci of CPA involve processes of administration, civil servants, systems and institutions of government. Comparative public administration involves not only comparisons of at least two jurisdictions, but also in-depth studies of single jurisdictions compared against practices or standards. This chapter discusses methods in CPA studies that involve (a) context-rich, exploratory analyses, (b) targeted CPA studies that seek to explain (e.g., hypotheses-testing), and (c) and philosophical orientations that inquire deeply into the meaning of phenomena. While all CPA studies must meet general research standards of the day, this chapter draws attention to four CPA-specific methods issues: (i) the driving importance of the study framework, (ii) case selection affecting study conclusions, (iii) the equivalence of concepts and study meanings across study settings, and, for quantitative works, (iv) measurement invariance. The chapter shows CPA methods for contributing to knowledge through theory-generalization, the discovery of innovative and effective strategies, broad understanding of trajectories of public administration in the world and critical inquiry.