A two-step approach for the analysis of hybrids in comparative social policy analysis: a nuanced typology of childcare policies

Rossella Ciccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Typologies have represented an important tool for the development of comparative social policy research and continue to be widely used in spite of growing criticism of their ability to capture the complexity of welfare states and their internal heterogeneity. In particular, debates have focused on the presence of hybrid cases and the existence of distinct cross-national pattern of variation across areas of social policy. There is growing awareness around these issues, but empirical research often still relies on methodologies aimed at classifying countries in a limited number of unambiguous types. This article proposes a two-step approach based on fuzzy-set-ideal-type analysis for the systematic analysis of hybrids at the level of both policies (step 1) and policy configurations or combinations of policies (step 2). This approach is demonstrated by using the case of childcare policies in European economies. In the first step, parental leave policies are analysed using three methods – direct, indirect, and combinatory – to identify and describe specific hybrid forms at the level of policy analysis. In the second step, the analysis focus on the relationship between parental leave and childcare services in order to develop an overall typology of childcare policies, which clearly shows that many countries display characteristics normally associated with different types (hybrids and. Therefore, this two-step approach enhances our ability to account and make sense of hybrid welfare forms produced from tensions and contradictions within and between policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2761
Number of pages20
JournalQuality and Quantity
Volume51
Early online date13 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 13 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • fuzzy sets
  • ideal types
  • HYBRIDS
  • typology
  • welfare regime
  • gender
  • childcare
  • comparative analysis

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