Development of Comparative Policy Analysis

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Comparative Public Policy Analysis has been described to be as distinctive from comparative politics as apples are to oranges. Politics, or the academic field of political science, is the discipline concerning how power government and laws are shaped and determined. In contrast, Public Policy refers to objectives that are undertaken to resolve societal problems and focuses on how resources can be distributed to face challenges. All of this while taking into account societal values, laws and practicality. Given the close proximity of each field to each other in the real world it would be difficult for the layman to differentiate the two. Now, as we have established that there is a significant enough difference between politics and public policy, we can look at the development of comparative public policy analysis over time in relation to comparative politics. It has been said that the field in question somewhat originated out of the tumultuous times of World War 2. The main players in the game at this point in time were Germany, the United States and the majority of Western Europe. Given the era, there was much activity in the world of political science and by extension international relations. Not yet had there been a solid grounding or framework established as shown in Heidenheimer’s “Threshold of Visibility”. During this time into the 1950’s and 1960’s there was a sudden growth in the field of policy sciences. Before this period there was not the necessary investment into the academic turf given the financial status of both the US and Europe. Also, political focus was more on the international level. After the second World War saw a need for economic and administrative recovery on the parts of both continents as policies were divided between military and foreign policies. This was a limited focus by their part in the 30-odd years leading up to the 1960’s. one may say that WW2 may have been a catalyst or transition point as there was now a rapid growth of policy...
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