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  • 1.
    Hasselbladh, Hans
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Bejerot, Eva
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Performative policy: the case of Swedish healthcare reforms2017In: Critical Policy Studies, ISSN 1946-0171, E-ISSN 1946-018X, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 291-310Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we analyze public sector change as a profoundly constructed phenomenon – as performative reforms. Public sector reforms, of which policy processes are an integral part, are constituted and realized through long chains of interventions.Communicative–discursive interventions posit and constitute problemsas real and important, while technocratic interventions, such as plans, analyses, and schemes construct new imagined worlds for possible and attractive instrumental solutions. Our empirical results display circular movements of three modes ofchange, making up a continuous policy cycle in the transformation of Swedish health, reiterated on different levels of the system, indifferent scales, and with different actors involved.

    The continuity of the reforms is to a large extent the result of a successful institutionalization of the policy cycle and its content. It is stabilized as a set of discourse and social technologies, distributed throughout the entire healthcare system and almost impossibleto question.

  • 2.
    Hysing, Erik
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Department of Economy and Society, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden .
    Lundberg, Erik
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Making governance networks more democratic: lessons from the Swedish governmental commissions2016In: Critical Policy Studies, ISSN 1946-0171, E-ISSN 1946-018X, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 21-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Governance networks (GNs) are theorized as institutions for state–civil society interaction with important merits as well as shortcomings for effective and democratic governance. Here we compare GNs with a far less researched type of state–civil society interaction, the Swedish governmental commission (GC), critically discussing them in terms of organizational and functional features, the role of the state and democratic anchorage. Drawing on lessons from the institutional design of GCs, we contest the notion that well-functioning GNs require a low level of formal institutionalization and discuss how democratic problems with GNs could be addressed through a formal institutional framework that provides pre-established and generally applied ground rules, ensures elected politicians the final say on policy, and values broad participation and consultation. Recognizing that GNs are not a self-evident form for state–civil society interactions, traditional institutional designs should be more fully considered in the discussion and theorization of the democratic anchorage of GNs.

  • 3.
    Persson, Monika
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    A policy problem that cannot escape its past: constraints on the reformation of safety policy2015In: Critical Policy Studies, ISSN 1946-0171, E-ISSN 1946-018X, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 158-176Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

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

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