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This chapter has three aims. First, it provides a more detailed justification for why researchers and policy-makers should be prepared to engage in comparing policies across nations. Second, it provides a brief history of comparative public policy. Third, it explains what comparative public policy is and what it is not: how comparative public policy can be defined, what is being compared, and how comparative public policy can be conducted in an increasingly interconnected world. Given that much public policy analysis adopts a national focus, and seems to assume this is sufficient, why should researchers and policy-makers be interested in investigating other nations’ policy-making systems? As this book explains, policies, the stakeholders involved in designing and delivering them, and policy outputs and outcomes, vary significantly across nations. This might be anticipated in the fields of culture or language, which could reasonably be expected to be governed in multifarious ways in different nations. Similarly, we might expect policy difference between nations which are able to extract significant funds from their populations through taxation when compared with poorer countries. Yet, even amongst relatively similar countries with apparently identical aims, we find radically divergent policy approaches.
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- Why Compare Public Policies?
Dr. Anneliese Dodds
- Macmillan Education UK
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