This field of research includes different dimensions: first, it refers to cross-national or cross-time comparative studies aimed to explain social phenomena at the individual and structural levels, using policy differences between countries, or over time. For example, we study the role of welfare policies for variations in health inequalities, the role of immigration policies for the integration of immigrants in different European countries, or the role of research policies in modeling inequalities in academia. Policy differences are also used to account for institutional differences in the implementation of gender policies in Germany and in other countries. Here, policies are understood to represent the conditions determining individual or institutional behavior, and social structures.
A second dimension of policy research in GESIS refers to the field of policy-analysis or, the analysis of policies along the policy-cycle. Here, we investigate the substantive and procedural elements related to the production of policies, as well as existing methods and tools for the evaluation of policies, their implementation and long-term impacts. We also develop new tools and methods to measure the effectivity of policies. For example by analyzing and comparing policy frameworks, quantitative impact analysis, or exploring the role of evaluation for policy-making.. Another topic on our agenda for the coming years is analyzing interactions between gender equality and diversity policies in higher education.