Göktuğ Morçöl

Penn State University At Harrisburg
School of Public Affairs

777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA
gxm27@psu.edu |  Visit Personal Website

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My areas of research interests are metropolitan governance, particularly the role business improvement districts play in it, and applications of complexity theory in policy analysis and evaluation.

Morçöl, G., and N. Ivanova. 2010. "Methods Taught in Public Policy Programs: Are Quantitative Methods Still Prevalent?" Journal of Public Affairs Education 16 (2):255–277.
Abstract: This paper summarizes the debates on using and teaching quantitative and qualitative methods in policy analysis and presents the results of two sets of empirical research: a survey on the methodological preferences of policy professionals and a content analysis of the titles and descriptions of methods courses in public policy and related programs. The results show that quantitative methods are more popular than qualitative methods among policy professionals and the former are taught more frequently in educational programs. Although there are some variations among policy professionals in different demographic categories in the methods they use and among educational institutions in the methods they teach, quantitative methods are prevalent in both the practice and education of policy professionals. Epistemological underpinnings of this finding and its implications for today's complex environment of governance are discussed.
Morçöl, G., and J. F. Wolf. 2010. "Understanding Business Improvement Districts: A New Governance Framework." Public Administration Review 70 (6):906-913.
Abstract: This paper discusses the current state of research on business improvement districts (BIDs) and proposes a framework and questions for future research. It is argued that BIDs can be understood best in a network governance framework. The research on BIDs shows that they blur the line between the public and private spheres; they are increasingly important actors in urban governance; and they engage in collaborative, conflictual, and cooptative relations with local and state governments. The accountability and management problems created by their interdependent relations with local governments are discussed. It is argued that future research should focus on characterizing the role of BIDs in urban governance, assessing their impacts on urban areas, and defining the accountability and management challenges they pose.
Morçöl, G. 2012. A Complexity Theory for Public Policy. London: Routledge.
Abstract: This book is an application of complexity theory to policy studies. Its primary goal is to articulate a coherent framework of the core concepts and methods of complexity theory and apply the framework to understanding policy processes. To make a serious contribution to understating policy processes, complexity theorists need to develop a coherent framework and compare this framework with the established theories of policy processes (e.g., institutional analysis and development framework, advocacy coalition framework, and punctuated equilibrium theory). There are several studies in the literature on the nonlinear, emergent, self-organizational, and coevolutionary aspects of policy processes, but a coherent complexity theory of policy processes has not been articulated yet. My goal in writing this book was to take on this challenge. A comparative analysis of the complexity theory of policy processes and the established theories remains to be the task of a future work. rnIn this book, I build on my earlier works on complexity theory. I propose a more articulate and refined framework for understanding the complexity of policy processes, discuss the epistemological issues raised by complexity theorists in the context of studying policy processes, and discuss the empirical methods of complexity theory within a taxonomy based on the theoretical framework I propose.

Substantive Focus:
Governance PRIMARY
Urban Public Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY