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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The politics of policy design
Author(s): Cairney, Paul
Issue Date: 2021
Date Deposited: 6-Jan-2022
Citation: Cairney P (2021) The politics of policy design. EURO Journal on Decision Processes, 9, Art. No.: 100002.
Abstract: This article highlights a major disconnect between the theory and practice of policy design. It provides a contrast between two ways to envisage design in political science. The first focuses on functional requirements and techniques, highlighting what policymakers need to do and the steps they use. The second focuses on theories and empirical studies that situate policy design within the wider study of policy processes, highlighting a major gap between requirements and outcomes. These approaches should complement and inform each other, but rarely do. Most policy theories treat classic descriptions of policy design (such as making policy via series of steps or stages) as divorced from reality, and only useful as ideal-types to contrast with what actually happens. Policy theories may be more accurate, but very few provide equivalent practical lessons (and most do not try). If so, what are the prospects of bringing together these literatures? The article examines two kinds of theory-informed policy design: theories at the service of analysis or sources of critical analysis and cautionary tales.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ejdp.2021.100002
Rights: ©2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Association of European Operational Research Societies (EURO). This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( )
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