Perspectives on policy analyses: A framework for understanding and design

Igor S. Mayer, C. Els Van Daalen, Pieter W.G. Bots

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


Policy analysis is a broad and versatile field of applied policy research and advice, where a multitude of perspectives and methods have developed. In this paper, we attempt to (re)structure the discipline in a single conceptual model. The model was derived on the basis of a review of relevant literature on policy analysis styles and a review of about 20 exemplary cases in the field of technology, policy and management. The model serves three purposes: understanding of policy analysis as a discipline, contribution to the design of new policy analysis methods and projects, and guidance for evaluating such methods and projects. The model identifies six activities and translates these into six underlying policy analytic styles. Each style implies different values, and calls for different criteria when it comes to evaluation. An important claim of the model is that, in practice, policy analysis consists of creatively combining these activities and styles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-191
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Technology, Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Applied research
  • Methodology
  • Policy analysis
  • Policy design
  • Policy evaluation
  • Policy research


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