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Approaches to the Study of Social Policy Making

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The aim of this paper is to suggest possible future approaches to the study of social policy making. The paper's main argument is that students of social policy who are interested in policy making could usefully draw on concepts and theories from the developing field of policy analysis. Social policy and policy analysis have so far developed separately as fields of study, yet they share some common concerns. In particular, both are concerned with the processes of policy making and policy implementation, and it is on this common ground that students of social policy may gain insights from policy analysis.

The paper is divided into three parts. In the first part a typology of traditions in the study of social policy is put forward. This is followed by a review of approaches to the study of social policy making, which examines critically the work of a number of writers who have contributed to this area of work. Then, in the third part of the paper, some suggestions are made for the closer linking of policy analysis and social policy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1980

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