Chapter

Case studies in health policy: an introduction

Mark Exworthy and Martin Powell

in Shaping Health Policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427588
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305576 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427588.003.0001
Case studies in health policy: an introduction

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Case studies have become arguably the predominant method by which much of social science is conducted. With its own long pedigree, health policy (allied to public and social policy) has not been immune to this trend. Yet, case-study methods comprise inherent problems for designing and conducting research. They suffer from abuse and misuse, both in theory and practice, in analysis and in application. This book thus seeks to recover and invigorate the case study as a valuable technique for researchers and practitioners. It does so in the context of health policy, a field which, sitting astride most social science disciplines, offers insights into the workings of the NHS and opportunities for the testing of theories and concepts. The book explores the conceptualisation, design, practice and impact of case studies in health policy in the UK. Its aims are five-fold: to raise awareness of the case study as a technique for scholarly inquiry among researchers and students; to provide an accessible resource for use in the education and training of students, academics and practitioners; to identify the value of exploring health policy in the UK using empirical case study methods; to reflect upon the value of case studies for contemporary health policy; and to assess the ways in which case studies have enabled health policy learning.

Keywords: health policy; case study; UK; health policy learning; research

Chapter.  7112 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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