The current context of social policy is one in which many of the old certainties of the past have been eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, domestic preoccupation of social policy has made way for a more integrated, international and outward approach to analysis which looks beyond the boundaries of the state. It is in this context that this Handbook brings together the work of key commentators in the field of comparative analysis in order to provide comprehensive coverage of contemporary debates and issues in cross-national social policy research.
Organized around five themes, this impressive volume explores the contextual, conceptual, analytical and processual aspects of undertaking comparative social research. In the first part, the authors are concerned with de-centring the state and extending the epistemological framework through which cross-national analysis is explored. In Parts II and III, the focus is on the conceptual and theoretical frameworks for analysing social policy cross-nationally, while Part IV examines the day-to-day reality of preparing for and carrying out cross-national analysis. In the final section, the authors highlight continuing and emerging themes and issues which are of particular relevance to understanding the contemporary social world.
International in scope, this authoritative Handbook presents original cutting-edge research from leading specialists and will become an indispensable source of reference for anyone interested in comparative social research. It will also prove a valuable study aid for undergraduate and postgraduate students from a range of disciplines including social policy, sociology, politics, urban studies and public policy.
About the Author
Edited by Patricia Kennett, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Policy Studies, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, UK
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