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New Article in German Politics

Iris Reus & Stephan Vogel (2021) Taking Stock after 40 Years of Comparative Land Policy Analysis (1980−2020). A Review of the Predictors of Regional Policy Output in Germany, German Politics, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2021.1999929


The number of policy analyses at the Land level has been rapidly increasing, yet we lack a comprehensive and systematic review of this literature. To close this gap, we have collected the entire population of eighty-five analyses of policy output from the last four decades and evaluated their research designs and findings. This evaluation reveals a gap in cultural and law enforcement policies as well as in comparative analyses across several policy fields. Methodologically, there is a need for policy content to be captured in a way that facilitates statistical analysis over time. We then examine to which extent established theories of policy-making predict variance in policy output. The partisan composition of government is clearly the strongest predictor. Since institutions and public opinion are rarely rejected, they should be included more frequently in future policy analyses. Our findings are of interest for both federalism research and policy analysis in general.