Policy analysis: Evaluating big stories

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter deals with policy analysis. It argues that policy research deals with the various stages of the policy process, which includes policymaking, policy implementationand the evaluation of policy outcomes. The research in the first two stages mainly tries to explain decision-making processes, while research in the third stage is evaluative. In this chapter we concentrate on methods for analyzing and explaining decision making. The chapter first presents the research strategy and methods used for explaining policymaking and implementation. To that end, it discusses the foundations of policy analysis and then the principles of public choice theory and new institutionalism analysis as the two main methods utilized to explain the making and implementation of policy. In the second part of the chapter, I demonstrate how these research methods are applied in practice by analyzing policy making andimplementation in the electricity sector and in the water supply sector. Overall, the analysis emphasizes the interaction between politicians and the general public as a key factor in the policy process and the role of policy entrepreneurs as agents of change. The chapter shows that high level of centralization of the bureaucratic and economic systems limits competition and allows special interests to maximize their benefits on the expense of social welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods in Public Administration, Management and Policy
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781789903485
ISBN (Print)9781789903478
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Eran Vigoda-Gadot and Dana R. Vashdi 2020. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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