SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Although one of the most durable analytic frameworks in political science, policy typologies suffer from some well-known flaws. Key among these is the problem of classification: thus far, it has proved impossible to consistently and objectively assign specific policies into conceptually distinct categories. The ambitious original promise of policy typologies, that is, to provide a precursor to a general theory of politics has gone unfulfilled in no small part because of the inability to overcome the classification obstacle. This article reexamines the idea of policy classification by assessing the potential contributions of policy taxonomies. Although a taxonomic approach to policy classification raises problems of its own, it may offer advantages above and beyond traditional typologies.