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B. Guy Peters

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B. Guy Peters

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B. Guy Peters

The political appeal of policy transfer is obvious. The attempts to diffuse the ideas of the new public management have offered a useful laboratory for learning about large-scale policy diffusion, but the lessons do not appear to have been learned as well as they might. These ideas were tried in many Central and Eastern European countries, but with, at best, minimal success. Building on previous chapters, this chapter provides a summary of how to learn from the experiences of other countries, and how to borrow in the context of the intersecting processes of experimentation and indigenization.

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B. Guy Peters

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B. Guy Peters

This chapter explores the utility of the comparative method for comparative policy analysis, and argues that this method can be especially useful for dealing with comparative public policy. Although learning about policy in individual countries can provide some understanding of the dynamics of policy, on that basis it is difficult to develop general theoretical and analytic models of public policy. The world, on the other hand, provides a natural laboratory for the study of policy (and indeed any other social or political phenomenon) that enables researchers to build theory and to understand the conditions under which certain factors can influence outcomes with a greater chance for valid generalizations. By careful selection of cases the comparative method enables the researcher to control the influence of extraneous factors and to assess the effects of presumed causal factors on dependent variables.

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B. Guy Peters

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B. Guy Peters

Public policy can be considered a design science. It involves identifying relevant problems, selecting instruments to address the problem, developing institutions for managing the intervention, and creating means of assessing the design. Policy design has become an increasingly challenging task, given the emergence of numerous ‘wicked’ and complex problems. Much of policy design has adopted a technocratic and engineering approach, but there is an emerging literature that builds on a more collaborative and prospective approach to design. This book will discuss these issues in policy design and present alternative approaches to design.