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Policy change analysis based on “policy target–policy instrument” patterns: a case study of China’s nuclear energy policy

Cui Huang, Chao Yang () and Jun Su
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Cui Huang: Tsinghua University
Chao Yang: Tsinghua University
Jun Su: Tsinghua University

Scientometrics, 2018, vol. 117, issue 2, 1081-1114

Abstract: Abstract Policy documents are the carriers of policy and provide a channel for researchers to observe the main contents of a policy and the policy process. Policy documents are different from traditional scientific texts (including papers and patents) because they serve the function of governance and blueprint planning. This makes it impossible to accurately describe the content of policy texts by relying solely on traditional word-based bibliometric methods. In this paper, we propose a new bibliometric method for detecting changes in policy themes based on policy target–policy instrument patterns. We collected relevant policy documents under specific target topics, identified policy target–policy instrument patterns implied in those documents, and built a policy target–policy instrument network. Then, based on the eigenvector centrality features of network nodes, we identified the core “policy target” and core “policy instrument” in different time periods and ultimately identified the evolution of policy instruments and policy target, and also the continuity of policy targets. A case study of China’s nuclear energy policies was used to demonstrate the reliability of our method, and the results reflect the practical value of this method in quantitative analysis on policy documents.

Keywords: Policy documents; Policy change; “Policy target–policy instrument” pattern; Policy target–policy instrument network; Bibliometrics; China’s nuclear energy policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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