Comparative Analysis Based on Expert Reports

  • Jacob Torfing


This chapter aims to show how expert reports can be used to open up a new policy area for comparative research by providing an initial overview of the main features of different national policy processes. Reports written by scientific experts are frequently used in courtrooms, investigations of major accidents, and procedures for prohibiting hazardous chemical substances. Such expert reports will normally contain assessments of technical evidence based on strict scientific standards. But there is also another kind of expert report offering a qualitative and quantitative assessment of societal problems, policy programmes and outcomes that are frequently used in public administration and governance. These are often written by national experts who are commissioned to write specific country reports that can be subjected to systematic cross-national comparisons in order to find policy problems, or identify ‘best practice’. Despite the ubiquitous use of comparative expert reports in research-based policy-making, it is not a method that is well described in the methodological literature. In order to compensate for this neglect, the present chapter critically assesses the systematic use of expert reports in comparative studies of network-based policy-making.


Relevant Actor Social Partner Peer Review Process Employment Policy Country Report 
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© Jacob Torfing 2007

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  • Jacob Torfing

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