Introduction: The Family Tree of Policy Learning

Part of the International Series on Public Policy book series (ISPP)


In this introductory chapter, we explain how the study of policy learning has evolved to the point where it is today, and show how the contributions to the volume provide empirical and conceptual insights that, help address four major questions. First, what exactly do we mean by learning in the context of comparative public policy analysis and theories of the policy process? Second, what do we know about the causes of learning, its mechanisms, how it develops in different policy processes, within and across countries? Third, what are triggers and hindrances of mechanisms of learning? Fourth, what are the consequences of different types of learning for the efficiency of public policy as well as for the normative criteria of the democratic theory we adopt?


Democracy Mechanisms Methods Policy learning Theories of the policy process 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PoliticsUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.Université de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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