Does Policy Learning Meet the Standards of a Theory on the Policy Process?
Policy Studies Journal
© 2018 The Authors. Policy Studies Journal published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Policy Studies Organization This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Policy learning is commonplace in the public policy literature but, the question whether it qualifies as analytical framework on the policy process has not been addressed systematically yet. We therefore appraise learning as analytical framework in relation to four standards: assumptions and micro-foundations; conceptual apparatus; observable implications; normative applications. We find that policy learning meets the standards, although its explanatory power varies across standards. Since we are not aware of theories of the policy process that meet all the standards all the time, and therefore conclude that policy learning fares reasonably well and it’s worth-investing intellectual resources in this field.
Published online 15 April 2018
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