Ideal Types and Diversity Analysis: The Methods to Define and Compare Policy Research Institutions’ Roles in Public Debates
"In the field of policy research, there is a widespread curiosity to discover the impact of policy research institutions1 in public debate and policymaking, in order to find out whether these institutions are just ‘parasites’ of the political system. Such curiosity has ended in studies that only questionably account for this impact. From our point of view, the impact of policy research institutions in policy networks is impossible to measure. The important question, as Stone points out (2001:354), is not whether these institutions have influence, but whether they really have a role in public debate and policymaking, and whether their presence is demanded in these circles. To find the answer, it is necessary to build methods of research that understand the contribution of their work in public debates, on the one hand, and their articulation in such debates in relation to other actors of the public sphere, on the other. <br
diversity/homogeneity; methodological issues; political science; think tanks; Norway
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