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Cover Comparative Politics

20. Policy-Making  

Christoph Knill and Jale Tosun

This chapter examines the process related to policy-making as well as potential determinants of policy choices. It begins with a discussion of conceptual models of policy-making, namely the institutional, rational, incremental, group, elite, and process models. It then considers the policy cycle, which models the policy process as a series of political activities, consisting of agenda setting, policy formulation, policy sadoption, implementation, and evaluation. It also analyses the role of institutions, frames, and policy styles in policy-making and concludes with an assessment of the most crucial domestic and international factors shaping the design of policies, focusing in particular on theories of policy diffusion, policy transfer, and cross-national policy convergence, along with international sources that affect domestic policy-making.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

22. The Impact of Public Policies  

Jørgen Goul Andersen

This chapter examines the effects of public policy. It first considers economic paradigms and approaches to welfare and documents the overriding historical changes in approaches to the economy, from Keynesian ideas of macro-economic steering to more market-oriented economic perspectives. It then explores the idea of institutional complementarity, as expressed in the typologies of welfare regimes, varieties of capitalism, and flexicurity. It also looks at some of the empirical analyses of the effects of welfare policies and the tension between welfare and economic efficiency. Finally, it looks at policy feedback, path dependence, policy learning, social learning, policy transfer and policy diffusion, and policy convergence.

Chapter

Cover Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

I. Interdisciplinarity  

The Interaction of Different Disciplines for Understanding Common Problems

Roberto Carrillo and Lidia Núñez

This chapter describes interdisciplinary, a term which refers to a mode of conducting research that ‘integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice’. Therefore, it is a way of conducting research that goes beyond the frontiers of traditional disciplines. The chapter provides an overview of the main features of how interdisciplinarity is applied in the social sciences. It defines the concept and traces its origins and evolution, as well as the interrelationship between interdisciplinary studies, society, and the development of public policies. The chapter then discusses the measurement and analysis of interdisciplinarity. Finally, it presents the main criticisms of interdisciplinarity and its use in the social sciences.

Book

Cover Comparative Politics

Edited by Daniele Caramani

Comparative Politics provides an introduction to the field. Comparative politics is an empirical science that deals primarily with domestic politics. It is one of the three main subfields of political science, alongside international relations and political theory. The text provides a comprehensive introduction to comparative politics. It includes three chapters dedicated to familiarizing readers with the comparative approach, discussing substance as well as method. It then guides readers through a thematically organized, comprehensive analysis of the core methods, theories, and concepts in comparative politics. Empirical data is drawn on to demonstrate key similarities and differences of political systems in practice. Increased focus is given to the Global South and its path towards democratization. At the end of each chapter, there are questions designed to encourage critical thinking. The six sections of the work deal with: theories and methods; the historical context; structures and institutions; actors and processes; public policies; and beyond the nation-state.

Chapter

Cover Comparative Politics

11. Multilevel Governance  

Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks, and Arjan H. Schakel

This chapter examines multilevel governance, the dispersion of authority to jurisdictions within and beyond national states. It summarizes the tremendous growth of multilevel governance since World War II, and reviews the major theories that seek to explain this. Whereas economists and public policy analysts explain multilevel governance as a functionalist adaptation to the provision of public goods, sociologists and political scientists focus on the effects of territorial identity and distributional conflict. These approaches complement each other, and today researchers draw on them to explain variation over time and across space. The chapter concludes by discussing three topics that have been affected by multilevel governance: democratic representation, ethno-territorial conflict, and social policy.