Dismantling Public Policy: Preferences, Strategies, and Effects

Paperback | August 17, 2014

EditorMichael W. Bauer, Andrew Jordan, Christoffer Green-pedersen

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Policy dismantling is a distinctive form of policy change, which involves the cutting, reduction, diminution or complete removal of existing policies. The perceived need to dismantle existing policies normally acquires particular poignancy during periods of acute economic austerity.Dismantling is thought to be especially productive of political conflict, pitting those who benefit from the status quo against those who, for whatever reason, seek change. However, scholars of public policy have been rather slow to offer a comprehensive account of the precise conditions under whichparticular aspects of policy are dismantled, grounded in systematic empirical analysis. Although our overall understanding of what causes policy to change has accelerated a lot in recent decades, there remains a bias towards the study of either policy expansion or policy stability. Dismantling doesnot even merit a mention in most public policy textbooks. Yet without an account of both expansion and dismantling, our understanding of policy change in general, and the politics surrounding the cutting of existing policies, will remain frustratingly incomplete.This book seeks to develop a more comparative approach to understanding policy dismantling, by looking in greater detail at the dynamics of cutting in two different policy fields: one (social policy) which has been subjected to study before and the other (environmental policy) which has not. On thebasis of a systematic analysis of the existing literatures in these two fields, it develops a new analytical framework for measuring and explaining policy dismantling. Through an analysis of six, fresh empirical cases of dismantling written by leading experts, it reveals a more nuanced picture ofchange, focusing on what actually motivates actors to dismantle, the strategies they use to secure their objectives and the politically significant effects they ultimately generate.Dismantling Public Policy is essential reading for anyone wanting to better understand a hugely important facet of contemporary policy and politics. It will inform a range of student courses in comparative public policy, politics, social and environmental policy.

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Policy dismantling is a distinctive form of policy change, which involves the cutting, reduction, diminution or complete removal of existing policies. The perceived need to dismantle existing policies normally acquires particular poignancy during periods of acute economic austerity.Dismantling is thought to be especially productive of ...

Michael W. Bauer works on issues of European and multilevel public administration and is interested in comparative public policy analysis in particular in the European Union. He is Professor of Politics and Public Administration at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Germany. Andrew Jordan is interested in the governance of environmen...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:242 pagesPublished:August 17, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198714785

ISBN - 13:9780198714781

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Table of Contents

Part I - Dismantling Debates and Analytical Approaches1. Andrew Jordan, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, and John Turnpenny: Policy Dismantling: An Introduction2. Michael W. Bauer and Christoph Knill: Understanding Policy Dismantling: An Analytical FrameworkPart II - The Dynamics of Policy DismantlingActive Dismantling3. Sophie Schmitt: Sequences of Active Policy Dismantling? Path Dependency in Pension Reform Processes4. Stefanie Korte and Helge Jorgens: Active Dismantling Under High Institutional Constraints? Explaining the Bush Administration's Attempts to Weaken US Air Pollution Control PolicyDismantling by Default5. Andrea Bianculli, Nicole Jenne, and Jacint Jordana: From Dismantling by Default to Arena Shifting? Child Benefits Policy in Spain6. Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Flemming Juul Christiansen, Eva-Maria Euchner, Carsten Jensen, and John Turnpenny: Dismantling by Default? The Indexation of Social Benefits in Four CountriesDismantling by Symbolic Action7. Dominik Bernauer and Christoph Knill: When the Dismantling of an Ineffective Policy Becomes Increasingly Costly: Default Strategies, Arena-shifting and Symbolic Action in German Waste Policy8. Andrew Jordan and John Turnpenny: From Dismantling by Default to Symbolic Dismantling? Water Policy in the United KingdomPart III - Comparative Conclusions9. Michael W. Bauer, Andrew Jordan, Christoffer Green-Pedersen and Adrienne Heritier: Dismantling Public Policy: Preferences, Strategies, and Effects

Editorial Reviews

"This is a terrific book about an extraordinarily important and woefully under-theorized topic - when and how politicians try to dismantle policies in place, and what determines their success or failure in doing so. The authors provide a useful conceptual framework for understanding themicro-foundations and strategic options for dismantling as well as assessing its impact across policy sectors. In addition, the rich case studies in Dismantling Public Policy make the volume "state of the art" in comparative policy research. As austerity concerns become ever more central topolicymaking in western industrial societies, the analysis in this volume will provide theoretical and methodological guidance to researchers for years to come." --R. Kent Weaver, Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution