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date: 30 September 2023

Comparative Public Policylocked

Comparative Public Policylocked

  • Guillaume FontaineGuillaume FontaineDepartamento de Asuntos Públicos, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) - Sede Ecuador


We contribute to the debate surrounding comparative public policy (CPP) analysis as a method and an area of policy studies, based on the following questions: What is CPP? What is it for? How can it be conducted? We begin with a presentation of the historical evolution of the field, its conceptual heterogeneity, and the recent attempts to bridge the gap between basic and applied research through the policy design framework. We proceed with a discussion of the logics operating in CPP, their approaches to causality and causation, and their contribution to middle-range theory. Next, we explain the fundamental problems of the comparative method, starting with a revision of the main protocols in use, then presenting their main methodological pitfalls. The article concludes with a reflection about the contribution of CPP to policy studies through design.


  • Policy, Administration, and Bureaucracy
  • Qualitative Political Methodology
  • Quantitative Political Methodology

Updated in this version

Updated and modified Sections 1-3. Added paragraph to the Conclusions section. Rewrote the Acknowledgements section. Eliminated minor references and added recent publications to References section.

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