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 21: Trends in the development of comparative policy analysis

Iris Geva-May, David C. Hoffman and Joselyn Muhleisen


This chapter first charts the development of the field of comparative policy analytic studies and compares this relatively new domain with the trajectories of comparative politics, and comparative public administration. Then it identifies, maps and compares comparative policy scholarly publications in the EBSCO Academic Complete database and in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice (JCPA). The JCPA is chosen because of its unique status as being explicitly and entirely devoted to the study of comparative policy analysis. As such it can serve as a case study for trends and practices in this field. The authors analyse the results of a content analysis of abstracts of articles in other journals and in the JCPA to map the prevalent topics, methods employed, and countries studied. They conclude by discussing the major trends in the work published in comparative policy analysis, the limitations of this work, and further areas for development. A clear finding is that the field of comparative policy analytic studies is on a sharp upward trajectory.

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