Article

What is Evolutionary Theory and How Does it Inform Policy Studies?

Citation

Cairney P (2013) What is Evolutionary Theory and How Does it Inform Policy Studies?. Policy and Politics, 41 (2), pp. 279-298. https://doi.org/10.1332/030557312X655486

Abstract
The term 'evolution' is used loosely in the policy literature and its meaning is frequently unclear. This article injects clarity into debates of evolution and establishes its ability to describe and explain policy change. It has four main aims. First, it identifies the explicit and implicit uses of evolutionary theory in policy studies. Second, it considers how such accounts relate to each other and the wider literature on public policy. Third, it identifies the causal mechanisms involved in evolutionary accounts. Finally, it considers how to translate abstract theory into a more concrete set of methods and plans for empirical research.

Keywords
; Policy sciences; Social sciences

Journal
Policy and Politics: Volume 41, Issue 2

StatusPublished
Publication date30/04/2013
Publication date online30/04/2013
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/15978
PublisherPolicy Press
ISSN0305-5736