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Interest in experimental research in public management is on the rise, yet the field still lacks a broad understanding of its role in producing substantive findings and theoretical advances. Written by a team of leading international researchers, this book sets out the advantages of experiments in public management and showcases their rapidly developing contribution to research and practice. The book offers a comprehensive overview of the relationship between experiments and public management theory, and the benefits for examining causal effects. It will appeal to researchers and graduate-level students in public administration, public management, government, politics and policy studies. The key topics addressed are the distinct logic of experimental methods in the laboratory, in the field, and in survey experiments; how leading researchers are using different kinds of experiment to build knowledge about theory and practice across many areas of public management; and the research agendas for experimental work in public management.
In this article, the authors evaluate whether the provision of good quality social services has the potential to create social cohesion. In addition to examining the relationship between social services and social cohesion, the authors expand institutional theories of social capital by investigating whether this potential for building social solidarity may be resilient to the corrosive effects of economic strain. Multilevel analyses of variations in the perceptions of social cohesion amongst Europeans were conducted for 27 member countries of the EU using the Eurobarometer 74.1 on poverty and social exclusion from 2010. The results suggest that individuals receiving better quality social service provision perceived higher levels of social cohesion within the country in which they live. By contrast, individuals living in households experiencing economic strain perceived lower levels of cohesion. Further analysis revealed that the experience of economic strain does not weaken the positive relationship between social services quality and perceptions of cohesion.
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