Policy Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 565–579 | Cite as

Expanding the scope and content of morality policy research: lessons from Moral Foundations Theory

  • Raymond TatalovichEmail author
  • Dane G. Wendell
Review Article


Scholars have not precisely defined morality policy, and Smith (Policy Stud J 30(3):379–395, 2002) urged an empirical taxonomy be used to identify those policies. We argue that Moral Foundations Theory offers a methodology for empirically identifying issues with moral content. We inventory 15 issues in parliamentary studies of “conscience” voting, 14 morality policies in western democracies compiled by Studlar (in: Mooney (ed) The public clash of private values: the politics of morality policy, Chatham House Publishers, New York, 2001), and then survey MFT empirical studies to identify 22 issues with moral content. Based on this universe of 37 issues, three journals are content analyzed to determine the coverage given them and to outline productive lines for future research.


Morality policy Comparative Moral Foundations Theory Content analysis 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Illinois CollegeJacksonvilleUSA

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