Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Comparative Policy Analysis
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Comparative Policy Analysis

Edited by B. Guy Peters and Guillaume Fontaine

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.
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Chapter 8: Comparing international policy transfers

Osmany Porto de Oliveira


Policy transfer research has been experiencing dizzying growth lately. The interest in this phenomenon has accompanied the contemporary empirical reality of globalization, in which ideas, institutions and instruments of public action circulate more and more often between governments, accelerating this exchange of policy knowledge. Policy transfer specialists focus on an object that does not have a well-defined territoriality, has transnational connections, moves across distinct jurisdictions, and can also be modified during the process by distinct involved actors according to their perspectives and interests. Despite the importance of this theme in contemporary public policy analysis, this field still does not have suitable methodological instruments to compare transfers. This is due above all to the fact that conventional methodologies are focused on comparing territorial units, and are hostage to ‘methodological nationalism’. In this chapter it is argued that in order to access policy transfer in depth, it is necessary to move beyond comparative public policy analysis centred on national frontiers. The chapter outlines how different research adopts existing tools in the policy analysis area, adapting them and developing its own comparative methodological techniques and strategies to understand and explain international policy transfers.

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