Advertisement

On the Indeterminacy of Policy Mistakes: Lessons from British Immigration Policy

  • James Hampshire
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter proposes a conceptualisation of policy mistakes as actions, decisions or judgements made by policy actors, which have unintended and negative consequences. It identifies three elements of this definition that are often contested, indeterminate or contingent: the criteria by which a policy is negatively evaluated; the intention of the policy actor; and the time frame within which the consequences of an action are assessed. The second half of the chapter explores these issues through an empirical analysis of immigration policy mistakes in Britain. It aims to show that immigration policy evaluations are politically contested; that the intentions of policy actors are often ambiguous or difficult to recover; and that the evaluation of policies changes over time.

References

  1. Boin, Arjen, Paul ‘t Hart, and Allan McConnell. 2009. Crisis Exploitation: Political and Policy Impacts of Framing Contests. Journal of European Public Policy 16 (1): 81–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boswell, Christina, and James Hampshire. 2017. Ideas and Agency in Immigration Policy: A Discursive Institutionalist Approach. European Journal of Political Research 56 (1): 133–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bovens, Mark, and Paul ‘t Hart. 1996. Understanding Policy Fiascoes. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2016. Revisiting the Study of Policy Failures. Journal of European Public Policy 23 (5): 653–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Consterdine, Erica, and James Hampshire. 2015. Immigration Policy Under New Labour: Exploring a Critical Juncture. British Politics 9 (3): 275–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fisher, Stephen. 2015. How Did the Tories Win a Majority? Elections etc. Available at http://electionsetc.com/. 8 May 2015.
  7. Gadamer, Hans-Georg. 1989. Truth and Method. New York: Crossroad.Google Scholar
  8. Hall, Peter A. 1993. Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain. Comparative Politics 25 (3): 275–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hampshire, James. 2005. Citizenship and Belonging: Immigration and the Politics of Demographic Governance in Post-War Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hampshire, James, and Tim Bale. 2015. New Administration, New Immigration Regime: Do Parties Matter After All? A UK Case Study. West European Politics 38 (1): 145–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hansen, Randall. 2000. Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Heclo, Hugh. 1974. Modern Social Politics in Britain and Sweden. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hobbes, Thomas. 2008 [1640]. In The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, ed. John Charles Addison Gaskin. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hobolt, Sara. 2016. The Brexit Vote: A Divided Nation, a Divided Continent. Journal of European Public Policy 23 (9): 1259–1277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. King, Anthony, and Ivor Crewe. 2013. The Blunders of Our Governments. London: Oneworld.Google Scholar
  16. MacIntyre, Alasdair. 1985. After Virtue. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  17. Makinson, Lucy, and Patrick Brione 2015. How Did UKIP’s Rise Affect the Lab/Con/Lib Dem Seat Position? Survation. Availabe at http://survation.com/how-did-ukips-rise-affect-the-labconlib-dem-seats-position/. 6 June 2017.
  18. ONS. 2014. Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, Office for National Statistics, November 2014.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 2015. Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, Office for National Statistics, May 2015.Google Scholar
  20. Oppermann, Kai, and Alexander Spencer. 2016. Telling Stories of Failure: Narrative Constructions of Foreign Policy Fiascos. Journal of European Public Policy 23 (5): 685–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pierson, Paul. 2004. Politics in Time: History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmidt, Vivien. 2011. Speaking of Change: Why Discourse Is Key to the Dynamics of Policy Transformation. Critical Policy Studies 5 (2): 106–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Somerville, Will. 2007. Immigration Under New Labour. Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Spencer, Ian R.G. 1997. British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making of Multi-racial Britain. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Walker, Stephen G., and Akan Malici. 2011. U.S. Presidents and Foreign Policy Mistakes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Hampshire
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

Personalised recommendations