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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The ‘Scottish approach’ to policy and policymaking: what issues are territorial and what are universal?
Author(s): Cairney, Paul
Russell, Siabhainn
St Denny, Emily
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Keywords: complexity
Issue Date: Jul-2016
Date Deposited: 20-Aug-2015
Citation: Cairney P, Russell S & St Denny E (2016) The ‘Scottish approach’ to policy and policymaking: what issues are territorial and what are universal?. Policy and Politics, 44 (3), pp. 333-350.
Abstract: The ‘Scottish approach' refers to its distinctive way to make and implement policy. Its reputation suggests that it is relatively comfortable with local discretion and variations in policy outcomes. Yet, policymakers are subject to ‘universal' processes - limited knowledge, attention and coordinative capacity, and high levels of ambiguity, discretion and complexity in policy processes - which already undermine central control and produce variation. If policy is a mix of deliberate and unintended outcomes, a focus on policy styles may exaggerate a government's ability to do things differently. We demonstrate these issues in two ‘cross cutting' policies: ‘prevention' and ‘transition'. complexity ; devolution; prevention; transition
DOI Link: 10.1332/030557315X14353331264538
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license ( which permits adaptation, alteration, reproduction and distribution without further permission provided the original work is attributed. The derivative works do not need to be licensed on the same terms.
Notes: This article was among the most highly cited articles published in Policy & Politics 2016 and 2017:
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