Abstract for: Developing Causal Map Codebooks to Analyze Policy Recommendations: A content analysis of floodplain management recommendations

Policy recommendations in public policy venues take on several forms. In some cases, they are well-crafted arguments in favor of a particular course of action. Strong policy recommendations will frame issues in a way that lead decision-makers towards a preferred set of solutions. This paper presents a codebook for developing causal maps from policy recommendation reports and texts. The codebook's strengths and weaknesses are discussed, as applied to a set of recommendations made to reduce flood damages and increase the quality of floodplain management in the U.S. This paper shows how the internal validity of causal maps constructed from qualitative data will be improved by developing codebooks that are reliable, consistent, and transparent.