This project investigate the evolution and current trends in comparative policy analysis since the 1980s through a systematic analysis of the entire body of research articles published in five preeminent journals in the field of public policy.
The project aims at better understanding how the field of comparative policy analysis has responded to a number of theoretical and methodological challenges. Research designs in comparative policy studies still have to respond to a number of
historical barriers such as conceptual challenges and lack of accessibility and comparability of data. In parallel, the debate on methods in public policy analysis has evolved too. New methodological tools are advocated for enhancing theory‐building and greater generalization capacity. This project assesses whether comparative research designs have integrated innovations such as process tracing to comparative case‐study research, configurational comparative methods to intermediate‐N comparison and move beyond the classic country‐level comparison.
By asking who publishes, about what, and what kind of comparative research design is applied, our project provides a systematic assessment of the evolution of the field over the last four decades and suggests avenues for future developments in comparative policy research.