The Composition of Policy Change: Comparing Colorado’s 1977 and 2006 Smoking Bans

2015, Policy Sciences, with Christopher M. Weible

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Understanding policy change is among the most enduring pursuits of public policy studies. Despite the wealth of policy change literature, a central challenge in the study of policy change remains measuring and assessing change. A useful starting point in measuring and assessing policy change is a thorough analysis of policy composition. The textual composition of policy change is analyzed by drawing on the Institutional Analysis and Development framework for conceptual definitions and data collection methods. Lessons from the policy implementation, design, and tools’ literatures guide comparative data analysis and evaluation. The approach is illustrated through a study of smoking ban change in Colorado, USA. The conclusion discusses the methodological contribution offered in this paper and its potential for facilitating theoretical development.