Special Sections of the JCPA

Special Sections of the Journal

The The Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis welcomes submissions to each of these sections: Policy Innovation; Comparative Policy Statistics and Analytics; Dialogue, Debates, and Controversies; Comparative Syllabi; and Book Reviews.

The JCPA welcomes submissions to each of these sections:

The Policy Innovation section of the JCPA welcomes papers that discuss a new innovation in any area of policy analysis in any country, and which outlines the possible benefits of the lesson drawn for other contexts. Manuscripts should contain the following sections:

  • Description of an innovative policy that has been adopted. This section should also explain what is unique or innovative about the policy.
  • Provide some evidence that it is a good policy or at least an improvement over current policies. We are looking for reasonable, independent validations, not necessarily sophisticated econometric analysis.
  • Discuss the applicability of this policy in other jurisdictions and any barriers to implementation, if any.
  • It is generally expected that submitted papers will normally be shorter than the regular submission at 4,000-6,000 words.

Please submit your paper with “Policy Innovation” in the subject line.

The JCPA regularly features a section entitled Comparative Policy Statistics and Data Analytics. We invite submissions and proposals focusing on all aspects of policy measurement and data analysis with a comparative twist. We publish articles on measurement and comparative indicators of economic and social well-being, governance, public performance, policy coordination, and the interaction between state actors, institutions and markets.

We are especially interested in new indices, data sources and analytical tools, practices in measurement and data analytics, and reflections on comparative statistics and research methods used in policy analysis. For example, we invite papers that debunk statistics widely used in the formulation of public policies or that explain their divergence. If you have an idea for a paper, contact the section editors, Fred Thompson, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University fthompso@willamette.edu and Frank Heiland, School of Public Affairs, Baruch College of the City University of New York frank.heiland@baruch.cuny.edu Submissions should run 4,000-6,000 words and should be amply supported with tables, charts, and figures.

Please submit your paper with “Comparative Statistics” in the subject line.

The JCPA regularly features a section entitled Forum: Dialogue, Debates and Controversies which appears twice a year. Its aim is to contribute to academic debates and controversies in the field of comparative public policy. It does so by publishing papers that present original ideas and arguments related to new theoretical approaches, methodological issues, and other new and relevant considerations for comparative policy inquiry. To stimulate scholarly discussion and debate, these essays are accompanied by commentaries that discuss or critique the central arguments of the contributions. Through such dialogue, the section promotes academic interaction that permits new ideas, controversies or insights not only to receive attention, but also to be explored and tested through scholarly exchange.

To be accepted for this section of the JCPA essays must feature ideas of interest to a large group of comparative policy scholars and they have to successfully pass through a review process. The essays should also not be longer than 6,000 words.

For any further questions do not hesitate to contact the Editors of this Section Frank Fischer, Rutgers University, New Jersey ffischer24@gmx.net and/or Philippe Zittoun, University of Lyon pzittoun@gmail.com and/or Ms. Diana Walker, Editorial Manager at jcpa@sfu.ca

Please submit your paper with “Dialogue, Debates & Controversies” in the subject line.

The JCPA regularly features a section entitled Comparative Policy Syllabi which publishes the syllabi of comparative policy courses taught at postgraduate level in academic institutions across the world. The main purpose of this section is to facilitate the design of and engage in a dialogue on the development of Comparative Policy Courses advancing this domain of study.

1. In their contribution to the section, authors are asked to briefly introduce their course syllabi and bibliography, focusing on four major areas of interest:

  • a. Program specific learning goals and outcomes: clearly defined and observable program goals, objectives, and outcomes to guide the development of the program’s mission, design, and continuous improvement. Learning objectives are not the activities teaching staff engage in with students, but rather what they want the students to know or do as a result of the program. The learning objectives should be clearly defined in measurable statements and should specify what students will know, be able to do or demonstrate on completion of the course. Learning outcomes are expressed as knowledge, skills or attitudes. They are student-centred and actively formulated.
  • b. Teaching method: the principles and methods of instruction that are used to ensure that students are able to reach the intended learning outcomes of the course and the programme.
  • c. Student assessment: the way students are evaluated.
  • d. Approach to teaching comparative public policy: highlight the comparative aspect of their course, focusing on the particular approach adopted when teaching comparative public policy. Does their course focus more on practical real world policy issues and questions? Does it emphasize theory or is it more methodologically front-loaded? Moreover, what is being compared? Is it countries or policy areas?

2. The contribution should count a minimum of 2000 to a maximum of 3000 words.

Please submit your paper with “Comparative Policy Syllabi” in the subject line.


Marleen Brans and Athanassios Gouglas (2015) Introduction to the New JCPA Comparative Syllabi Section, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 17(1)75-76

David Aubin and Marleen Brans (2015) Comparative Public Policy in Europe, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 17(1)77-82.

R. Kent Weaver (2015) Comparative Policy Process, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 17(1)83-91.

Book Authors are welcome to forward their publications to the Book Review Editor for consideration in the Book Review Section of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. The book content should meet the interests of the JCPA readership in line with its Aims and Scope and interdisciplinary orientation.

Book Reviewers play a major role in the publication process of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis and are typically invited by the Book Review Editor. The JCPA is honored to have their assessment and insights.

In completing your review, please summarize the argument of the book, while placing it within the context of the broader literature on this subject.

  1. Dues the author make a novel argument?
  2. Are the methods appropriate for answering the questions at hand?
  3. Does it advance the domain of comparative policy studies? How?
  4. Does the book, or aspects of the book, contribute to the development and testing of comparative methodology, theory, or their practice implications? 5. What does the author provide scholars and students of comparative public policy or policy analysis?
  5. What is the appropriate audience for this book (e.g., specialists in the field, graduate or undergraduate classes on the topic, any student of comparative policy analysis, or even the broader public)?
  6. What are your thoughts regarding the book’s relevance to scholars in this area?
  7. Finally, the most helpful reviews are those that present the strengths and weaknesses of a book within the context of providing an overall assessment of the book’s contribution.

Please end the review with your name, institutional affiliation, and email address, as you wish them to appear. The review should be about 800-1,000 words and should be sent directly to John A. Hird, Book Review Editor at jhird@umass.edu, preferably as an attached Word file.

For any clarifications please approach the Editorial Manager, Ms. Diana Walker at jcpa@sfu.ca

Please submit your paper with “Book Reviews” in the subject line.