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Policy studies could be defined as the combination of policy analysis and program evaluation.[1] It "involves systematically studying the nature, causes, and effects of alternative public policies, with particular emphasis on determining the policies that will achieve given goals."[2]

Policy studies also examines the conflicts and conflict resolution that arise from the making of policies in civil society, the private sector, or more commonly, in the public sector (ie government).

It is frequently focused on the public sector but is equally applicable to other kinds of organizations. Policy study experts mostly graduate from public policy schools with public policy degrees. They may have diverse backgrounds such as policy studies itself, public policy, policy analysis, program evaluation, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, geography, law, political science, social work, environmental planning and public administration.

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