Guest Lecture with Prof. Dr. Christoph Knill
Guest Lecture with Prof. Dr. Christoph Knill – Chair of Comparative Public Policy and Administration at the University of Konstanz
Policy change is an important concept in comparative policy analysis. Despite its central significance, most empirical studies fail to provide clear-cut definitions and measurement of this concept. Against this background, this article evaluates previous scholarship on policy change in the areas of social and environmental policy. We find that most studies use proxies for measuring policy change even though they contradict the basic idea of policy-making activities. Furthermore, studies usually neither capture the complexity of policy change, nor take into the possibility of policy change through dismantling account. Additionally, the empirical focus of most analyses is too narrow, thereby impeding robust statements about causality. In response to these shortcomings, we propose a new conceptual perspective which captures policy change as a broader empirical phenomenon. We discuss its advantages as well as its disadvantages and show the implications for the research process.
Professor Dr. Christoph Knill is Chair of Comparative Public Policy and Administration at the University of Konstanz since 2004. He studied public administration and political science at the University of Konstanz and obtained his PhD form the University of Bielefeld in 1994. He was research associate at the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne (1994-1995), the European University Institute in Florence (1995-1998), and the Max-Planck Project Group for the Study of Common Goods in Bonn (1998-2000). Before joining the Department, Christoph Knill has been Professor of Poltical Science at the University of Jena (2001-2004). The main research interests of Prof. Knill lie in the areas of comparative policy analysis and comparative public administration. In this context, his main focus is on policy-making in the European Union, the analysis of processes of international policy convergence and policy diffusion as well as research on policy implementation. With regard to these topics, his major thematic interest is on environmental, education and transport policies.
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