Public Opinion and Policy Analysis

Authored by: Christine Rothmayr Allison

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Policy Analysis

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138959774
eBook ISBN: 9781315660561
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315660561-15

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Abstract

Public opinion research is an essential feature of modern democracies. On a regular basis, and at any stage of the election cycle, we read the results of media polls on various political issues. Governments around the world collect census and other data on their citizens through various tools of public opinion research, and mandate external firms to conduct polls and focus groups on a large variety of issues. Political parties, whether in power or not, use public opinion research to define their electoral strategies. Interest groups also rely on public opinion research to define their public relations strategies, and mobilize the evidence collected in order to advocate for or against policy choices in the policymaking process. Consequently, public opinion research is an important subfield in political science and constitutes an important tool for generating data in various subfields, including policy analysis.

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