Political Science Expertise on Public Policy
Public policies, as a multi-dimensional and highly complex phenomenon, necessarily make a multidisciplinary research subject. The aim of this paper is to examine what is specific political science knowledge about public policy, and what is the unique contribution of political scientists to policy research and governance to enhance consolidating this young discipline in Southeastern Europe. This paper is a result of a review of policy textbooks in Southeastern Europe and worldwide, and literature on approaches and methodologies in social sciences and political science. It starts with determining public polices and their political aspect. Then it explores approaches of policy studies. Finally, it identifies types of professional policy research or policy analysis. The key assumption is that political science is primarily competent to analyze policy actors. The main finding of the paper is that the basis of political scientist professionalization in policy research, given that they are best in actor-centered research, and issues of representativeness and legitimacy of policy-making, can be a form of participatory policy analysis.