This article reviews how the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) has been applied in studies analyzing policy change. It builds on a systematic evidence synthesis of peer-reviewed empirical literature that is based on the core readings by Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones. The article identifies trends in the geographical and policy focus of PET studies; maps, explores, and interrogates how core concepts of PET are applied in empirical analyses; and, finally, assesses the analytical and explanatory power of PET when applied to empirical phenomena. The article finds that PET studies have contributed a great deal to our knowledge on particular cases, but that more often than not PET is applied in a selective manner. The article deals with the implications of these findings for further theory development in policy analysis.
- literature review
- policy analysis
- policy change
- PRISMA method
- Punctuated Equilibrium Theory