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Ideal Types and Diversity Analysis: The Methods to Define and Compare Policy Research Institutions’ Roles in Public Debates

Marybel Perez

No 16, EUROSPHERE Working Paper Series (EWP) from Eurospheres project

Abstract: "In the field of policy research, there is a widespread curiosity to discover theimpact of policy research institutions1 in public debate and policymaking, inorder to find out whether these institutions are just ‘parasites’ of the politicalsystem. Such curiosity has ended in studies that only questionably account forthis impact. From our point of view, the impact of policy research institutionsin policy networks is impossible to measure. The important question, as Stonepoints out (2001:354), is not whether these institutions have influence, butwhether they really have a role in public debate and policymaking, andwhether their presence is demanded in these circles. To find the answer, it isnecessary to build methods of research that understand the contribution oftheir work in public debates, on the one hand, and their articulation in suchdebates in relation to other actors of the public sphere, on the other.

Keywords: diversity/homogeneity; methodological issues; political science; think tanks; Norway (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-03-01
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