Exploring the interplay between ‘fashion’ and ‘evidence-based’ policy: A comparative account of higher education and health care in the Nordics

Romulo Pinheiro, Laila Nordstrand Berg, Jouni Kekäle, Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen


This paper takes a critical view of the interplay between two widespread approaches towards policy making and the ways in which they have played out in the critical realms of higher education and health care in the Nordic context over the last decade. It adopts a multiple case study design substantiated on a cross-sectorial and cross-national comparative approach. Empirically, we provide case evidence from Norway and Finland. The paper’s conceptual foundations are based on seminal work emanating from the policy-transfer literature combined with key insights from organisational theory and its neo-institutional tradition. We address recent calls for a better understanding of the policy-formation process across national jurisdictions and sectors of the economy.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413