Implementation Failures as Learning Pathologies
Date: 1 June 2021
In many ways, the study of implementation is the study of policy failure. After all, scholarly preoccupation with the causes of policy pathologies motivated the first wave of implementation studies in the post-war decades (Derthick 1972; Pressman and Wildavsky 1973). Examination of policy learning has followed a similar trajectory. The ...
In many ways, the study of implementation is the study of policy failure. After all, scholarly preoccupation with the causes of policy pathologies motivated the first wave of implementation studies in the post-war decades (Derthick 1972; Pressman and Wildavsky 1973). Examination of policy learning has followed a similar trajectory. The first (and now classic) studies linking learning and policy change were central to the serious efforts to create a systematic approach to policy sciences (Deutsch 1966; Heclo 1974; Lindblom 1965). Recent developments re-appraising policy learning, and in particular spotlighting its varieties and its limitations, enable a clearer connection with implementation fiascos (Howlett 2012; Dunlop and Radaelli 2013, 2018). New conceptualisations of policy learning point to the importance of scope conditions which render learning deep or shallow, functional or dysfunctional (Dunlop 2017). In this chapter, the implementation failure-policy learning nexus is explored at three analytical levels: micro level of individual policy actors; meso level of groups and organisational bodies; and finally, the macro, systemic level.
College of Social Sciences and International Studies
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