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A policy problem that cannot escape its past: constraints on the reformation of safety policy
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8695-4504
2015 (English)In: Critical Policy Studies, ISSN 1946-0171, E-ISSN 1946-018X, Vol. 9, no 2, 158-176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within many current policy theories there is a tendency to first identify change and then explain it. A retrospective analysis of policy changes risks missing continuous processes and struggles for change as well as mechanisms of resistance to change. Taking this as a point of departure, this paper develops an understanding of the policy process as a struggle over meaning, as a way to allow for a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics of policy change and continuity. This approach is illustrated by an analysis of the formation of public safety policy in Sweden. Alternative storylines giving ‘new’ meanings to the policy problem were strategically incorporated into the policy discourse. However, it is found that an ideational path-dependency of the policy constrains the possibility for problem reformulation and thereby also the possibility for policy change. The discourses that instantiated the policy problem not only affect the ways in which the problem is rendered thinkable for the purposes of its government, but also for policy analysts as well as the public. The analysis shows that it is crucial to understand the interrelations between different discourses (within policy, politics and research) to understand the mechanisms of policy change and continuity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015. Vol. 9, no 2, 158-176 p.
Keyword [en]
policy formation, policy change, dicourse, safety, fera of crime, path-dependency
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-51700DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2014.971038Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84930047426OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-51700DiVA: diva2:953751
Available from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-08-18 Last updated: 2016-08-22Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Monika
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf