These links to blog posts (the underlined headings) and tweets (with links to their full article) describe a new special issue of Policy and Politics, published in April 2018 and free to access until the end of May.
None of these abstract theories provide a ‘blueprint’ for action (they were designed primarily to examine the policy process scientifically). Instead, they offer one simple insight: you’ll save a lot of energy if you engage with the policy process that exists, not the one you want to see.
Then, they describe variations on the same themes, including:
- There are profound limits to the power of individual policymakers: they can only process so much information, have to ignore almost all issues, and therefore tend to share policymaking with many other actors.
- You can increase your chances of success if you work with that insight: identify the right policymakers, the ‘venues’ in which they operate, and the ‘rules of the game’ in each venue; build networks and form coalitions to engage in those venues; shape agendas by framing problems and telling good stories, design politically feasible solutions, and learn how to exploit ‘windows of opportunity’ for their selection.
Background to the special issue
Chris Weible and I asked a group of policy theory experts to describe the ‘state of the art’ in their field and the practical lessons that they offer.
Our next presentation was at the ECPR in Oslo:
The final articles in this series are now complete, but our introduction discusses the potential for more useful contributions