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 12: Using text-as-data methods in comparative policy analysis

Fabrizio Gilardi and Bruno Wüest

Abstract

Text-as-data methods – techniques relying on the automated or semi-automated analysis of text – have become increasingly prevalent in social science. This chapter discusses their potential for comparative policy analysis, a field in which these methods have not been applied as extensively as in other areas. The chapter first examines applications of text-as-data approaches in comparative policy analysis. Then it focuses on the practical aspects of these methods, and specifically on the workflow involved in their application, such as obtaining and storing the data, pre-processing, and analysing them with a range of automated and semi-automated techniques. The chapter concludes by highlighting the potential of text-as-data methods for comparative policy analysis despite their relatively sparse use so far.

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