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Revisiting Richard Simeon's “Studying Public Policy”

  • Grace Skogstad (a1) and Linda A. White (a2)


The articles in this symposium reflect on Richard Simeon's article, “Studying Public Policy,” published forty years ago in this journal. In this introduction, we review these articles’ contribution to three themes in “Studying Public Policy”: first, the goal of the study of public policy should be policy analysis and explanation, not policy prescription; second, the analysis of public policy outcomes requires a holistic and contextually situated analytical framework; and third, building theory requires methods of comparative analysis, not single case studies. We also propose items for a future policy studies agenda.

Les articles présentés dans le cadre de ce colloque font référence à l'article de Richard Simeon « L’étude des politiques publiques » publié il y a quarante ans dans cette même Revue. Dans la présente introduction, nous examinons la contribution de ces articles à trois thèmes abordés dans « L’étude des politiques publiques », à savoir : premièrement, une telle étude devrait avoir pour objet l'analyse et l'explication des politiques et non la prescription des politiques; deuxièmement, l'analyse des résultats des politiques publiques exige un cadre analytique holistique et situé dans son contexte; et, troisièmement, l’élaboration d'une théorie doit s'appuyer sur des méthodes d'analyse comparative et non sur des études de cas. Nous proposons également des éléments en vue de l’élaboration d'un plan de travail pour l’étude des politiques.



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Lachapelle, Erick, Montpetit, Éric and Gauvin, Jean-Philippe. 2014. “Public Perceptions of Expert Credibility on Policy Issues: The Role of Expert Framing and Political Worldviews.” Policy Studies Journal 42 (4): 674–97.
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Simeon, Richard. 2006. “Social Justice: Does Federalism Make a Difference?” In Dilemmas of Solidarity: Rethinking Redistribution in Canadian Federalism, ed. Choudhry, Sujit, Gaudreault-Desbiens, Jean-Francois and Sossin, Lorne. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Simeon, Richard and Elkins, David. 1980. “Regional Preferences: Citizens’ Views of Public Policy.In Small Worlds: Provinces and Parties in Canadian Political Life, ed. Simeon, Richard and Elkins, David J.. Toronto: Methuen.
Simeon, Richard and Miller, Robert. 1980. “Regional Variations in Public Policy.” In Small Worlds: Provinces and Parties in Canadian Political Life, ed. Simeon, Richard and Elkins, David J.. Toronto: Methuen.
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Skogstad, Grace. 2017. “Policy Feedback and Self-Reinforcing and Self-Undermining Processes in EU Biofuels Policy.Journal of European Public Policy 24 (1). DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2015.1132752.
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Yanow, Dvora. 1999. Conducting Interpretive Policy Analysis. Qualitative Research Methods Series no. 47. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.

Revisiting Richard Simeon's “Studying Public Policy”

  • Grace Skogstad (a1) and Linda A. White (a2)


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