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“Studying Public Policy”: Historical Institutionalism and the Comparative Method

  • Gerard W. Boychuk (a1)
Abstract

This article argues that Simeon's insistence on the value of explicit comparison within individual studies of public policy needs to remain central even in historical institutionalist approaches which “take time seriously” and focus on causal mechanisms—a methodological injunction sometimes seen to augur in favour of single-case and single-outcome studies. However, if Simeon's suggested approach is to reflect the major advances that have occurred since he wrote, it will require more fully and more explicitly combining the power of the comparative method with the powerful insights generated by a logic of intertemporal causal mechanisms unfolding over time.

Cet article fait valoir que l'insistance de Simeon sur la valeur de la comparaison explicite parmi les études ponctuelles des politiques publiques doit demeurer centrale même dans les approches institutionnalistes historiques qui « prennent le temps au sérieux » et se concentrent sur des mécanismes causals–une injonction méthodologique qui semble, selon certains, augurer en faveur des études de cas. Toutefois, si l'approche suggérée par Simeon doit refléter les avancées majeures qui sont survenues depuis qu'il a rédigé ses lignes, il y aura lieu de conjuguer pleinement et explicitement la puissance de la méthode comparative et les perspectives puissantes générées par une logique des mécanismes causals intertemporels qui évoluent au fil des ans.

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Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique
  • ISSN: 0008-4239
  • EISSN: 1744-9324
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-political-science-revue-canadienne-de-science-politique
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