Advertisement

A Network Approach to Policy Design

  • Florence MetzEmail author
Chapter
  • 235 Downloads
Part of the Springer Water book series (SPWA)

Abstract

This chapter explores the question: Can policy networks aid us in understanding the variance of policy design? Since networks of policy actors create their own governing structures, the goal of this study is to better understand which patterns of interactions facilitate or inhibit the realization of collective gains. Past research has repeatedly highlighted the relevance of the network approach in explaining policy outputs, but has thus far failed in establishing systematic hypotheses and empirical tests beyond simple attestations that ‘networks matter.’ To assess the relevance of the network approach, this study examines whether specific structural network properties are conducive to comprehensive problem solving in public policymaking. Hypotheses are formulated in order to evaluate which combination and level of network configurations, i.e., interconnectedness, belief cohesion, brokerage, entrepreneurship, and coalition structure, promote or inhibit networks’ ability to design comprehensive policies. Findings from this study provide first indications that the relational structures between policy actors represent an important element in achieving comprehensive policy designs and in promoting problem solving. The exploratory research results suggest that a combination of several structural network properties impacts networks’ ability to design comprehensive policies.

Keywords

Explaining policy design Linking policy networks to policy design Networks matter Structural network properties Interconnectedness Belief cohesion Coalition structure Brokerage Entrepreneurship Comprehensive policy design 

References

  1. Adam, S., & Kriesi, H.-P. (2007). The network approach. In P. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process (pp. 129–154). Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  2. Arnold, G. (2013). Street-level policy entrepreneurship. Public Management Review, 17(3), 307–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atkinson, M., & Nigol, R. (1989). Selecting policy instruments. Neo-institutional and rational choice interpretations of automobile insurance in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 22(1), 107–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baumgartner, F., & Jones, B. (1993). Agendas and instability in American politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Baxter-Moore, N. (1987). Policy implementation and the role of the state. A revisited approach to the study of policy instruments. In R. Jackson, D. Jackson, & N. Baxter-Moore (Eds.), Contemporary Canadian Politics. Scarborough: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Bennett, C. (1991). Review article. What is policy convergence and what causes it? British Journal of Political Science, 21, 215–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bennett, C., & Howlett, M. (1992). The lessons of learning: Reconciling theories of policy learning and policy change. Policy Science, 25(3), 275–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berardo, R., & Scholz, J. (2010). Self-organizing policy networks: Risk, partner selection, and cooperation in Estuaries. American Journal of Political Science, 54(3), 632–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blatter, J., & Haverland, M. (2012). Designing case studies. explanatory approaches in Small-N research (Research Methods Series). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Bodin, Ö., Crona, B., & Ernstson, H. (2006). Social networks in natural resource management: What is there to learn from a structural perspective? Ecology and Society, 11(2).Google Scholar
  11. Bodin, Ö., & Crona, B. I. (2009). The role of social networks in natural resource governance: What relational patterns make a difference? Global Environmental Change, 19, 366–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bodin, Ö., & Prell, C. (Eds.). (2011). Social networks and natural resource management. Uncovering the social fabric of environmental governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Börzel, T. (1998). Organizing Babylon. On the different conceptions of policy networks. Public Administration, 76, 253–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bressers, H., & O’Toole, L. (1998). The selection of policy instruments: A network-based perspective. Journal of Public Policy, 18(3), 213–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bressers, H., & O’Toole, L. (2005). Instrument selection and implementation in a networked context. In P. Eliadis, M. Hill, & M. Howlett (Eds.), Designing government: From instruments to governance (pp. 132–153). Montreal, Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Burt, R. (2000). The network structure of social capital. In B. Staw & R. Sutton (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (pp. 345–423). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  17. Burt, R. (2003). The social capital of structural holes. In M. Guillen, R. Collins, P. England, & M. Meyer (Eds.), The new economic sociology: Developments in an emerging field (pp. 148–189). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  18. Carley, M. (1980). Rational techniques in policy analysis. London: Heinemann Educational Books.Google Scholar
  19. Christopoulos, D. (2008). Political entrepreneurs: Network structure and power. Published online: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/265495932. Accessed on July 9, 2015.
  20. Christopoulos, D., & Ingold, K. (2011). Distinguishing between political brokerage and political entrepreneurship. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 10, 36–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Christopoulos, D., & Ingold, K. (2015). Exceptional or just well connected? Political entrepreneurs and brokers in policy making. European Political Science Review, 7, 475–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Coleman, J. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Crona, B., & Bodin, Ö. (2006). What you know is who you know? Communication patterns among resource users as a prerequisite for co-management. Ecology and Society, 11(2).Google Scholar
  24. Crona, B., & Parker, J. (2012). Learning in support of governance: Theories, methods, and a framework to assess how bridging organizations Contribute to adaptive resource governance. Ecology and Society, 17(1).Google Scholar
  25. Dahl, R., & Lindblom, C. (1953). Politics, economics and welfare. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Daugbjerg, C., & Marsh, D. (1998). Explaining policy outcomes: integrating the policy network approach with macro-level and micro-level analysis. In D. Marsh (Ed.), Comparing policy networks (pp. 53–71). Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Doern, B., & Wilson, S. (1974). Issues in Canadian public policy. Toronto: McMillan.Google Scholar
  28. Fischer, M. (2012). Entscheidungsstrukturen in der Schweizer Politik zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. Glarus, Chur: Rüegger.Google Scholar
  29. Fischer, M. (2013). Policy network structures, institutional context, and policy change. Paper presented at the COMPASSS Working Paper 73.Google Scholar
  30. Fischer, M. (2014). Coalition structures and policy change in a consensus democracy. Policy Studies Journal, 42(3), 344–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fischer, M. (2015). Institutions and coalitions in policy processes: A cross-sectoral comparison. Journal of Public Policy, 35(2), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Freeman, G. (1985). National styles and policy sectors. Explaining structured variation. Journal of European Public Policy, 5(4), 467–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. George, A., & Bennett, A. (2005). Case studies and theory development in the social sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  34. Gerber, E., Henry, A. D., & Lubell, M. (2013). Political homophily and collaboration in regional planning networks. American Journal of Political Science, 57(3), 598–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gerring, J. (2004). What is a case study and what is it good for? The American Political Science Review, 98(2), 341–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Granovetter, M. (1992). Economic institutions as social construction: A framework of analysis. Acta Sociologica, 35, 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Haverland, M. (2000). National adaptation to European integration: The importance of institutional veto points. Journal of Public Policy, 20(01), 83–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Heaney, M. (2006). Brokering health policy: Coalitions, parties, and interest group influence. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 31(5), 887–944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Henry, A. D. (2011). Ideology, power, and the structure of policy networks. Policy Studies Journal, 39(3), 361–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Henry, A. D., Lubell, M., & McCoy, M. (2010). Belief systems and social capital as drivers of policy network structure: The case of California regional planning. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 21(3), 419–444Google Scholar
  43. Howlett, M. (1991). Policy instruments, policy styles, and policy implementation. Policy Studies Journal, 19(2), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Howlett, M. (2002). Do networks matter? Linking policy network structure to policy outcomes: Evidence from four Canadian policy sectors 1990–2000. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 35(2), 235–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Howlett, M., & Ramesh, M. (2003). Studying public policy: Policy cycles and policy subsystems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Ingold, K. (2007). The influence of actors’ Coalition on policy choice: The case of the Swiss climate policy. In T. Friemel (Ed.), Applications of social network analysis. UVK: Constance.Google Scholar
  47. Ingold, K. (2008). Analyse des mécanismes de décision: Le cas de la politique climatique suisse. Zürich and Chur: Rüeggger Verlag.Google Scholar
  48. Ingold, K. (2011). Network structures within policy processes: Coalitions, power, and brokerage in Swiss climate policy. Policy Studies Journal, 39(3), 435–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ingold, K., & Fischer, M. (2014). Drivers of collaboration to mitigate climate change: An illustration of Swiss climate policy over 15 years. Global Environmental Change, 24, 88–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ingold, K., & Gschwend, M. (2014). Science in policy-making: Neutral experts or strategic policy-makers? West European Politics, 37(5), 993–1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ingold, K., & Varone, F. (2012). Treating policy brokers seriously: Evidence from the climate policy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(2), 319–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Innes, J., & Booher, D. (2003). Collaborative policymaking: Governance through dialogue. Deliberative policy analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Jones, N., Sophoulis, C., Iosifides, T., Botetzagias, I., & Evangelinos, K. (2009). The influence of social capital on environmental policy instruments. Environmental Politics, 18(4), 595–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kenis, P., & Schneider, V. (1991). Policy networks and policy analysis: Scrutinizing a new analytical toolbox. In B. Marin & R. Mayntz (Eds.), Policy networks—Empirical evidence and theoretical considerations. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.Google Scholar
  55. Kickert, W., Klijn, E.-H., & Koppenjan, J. (1997). Managing complex networks. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  56. King, G., Keohane, R., & Verba, S. (1994). Designing social inquiry: Scientific inference in qualitative research. Chichester: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Kingdon, J., & Thurber, J. (2011). Agendas, alternatives, and public policies. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  58. Klijn, E.-H. (1996). Analyzing and managing policy processes in complex networks: A theoretical examination of the concept policy network and its problems. Administration & Society, 28(1), 90–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Klijn, E.-H., Steijn, B., & Edelenbos, J. (2010). The impact of network management strategies on the outcomes in governance networks. Public Administration, 88(4), 1063–1082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Knoke, D. (1990). Political networks. The structural perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Knoke, D., Pappi, F. U., Broadbent, J., & Tsujinaka, Y. (1996). Comparing policy networks. Labor politics in the U.S., Germany, and Japan. Cambridge UK, New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Koontz, T., & Thomas, C. (2006). What do we know and need to know about the environmental outcomes of collaborative management? Public Administration Review, 66, 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Kriesi, H., Adam, S., & Jochum, M. (2006). Comparative analysis of policy networks in Western Europe. Journal of European Public Policy, 13(3), 341–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Kuhnert, S. (2001). An evolutionary theory of collective action: Schumpeterian entrepreneurship for the common good. Constitutional Political Economy, 12(1), 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Laumann, E., & Knoke, D. (1987). The organizational state. Social in national policy domains. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  66. Laumann, E., & Pappi, F. U. (1976). Networks of collective action. A perspective on community influence systems. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  67. Leifeld, P., & Schneider, V. (2012). Information exchange in policy networks. American Journal of Political Science, 56(3), 731–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Linder, S., & Peters, G. (1989). Instruments of government: Perceptions and contexts. Journal of Public Policy, 9(1), 35–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Lowi, T. (1964). American Business, Public Policy, Case-Studies, and Political Theory. World Politics, 16(04), 677–715.Google Scholar
  70. Lowi, T. (1972). Four systems of policy, politics and choice. Public Administration Review, 32(4), 298–310.Google Scholar
  71. Lubell, M. (2005). Do watershed partnerships enhance beliefs conducive to collective action? In P. Sabatier, W. Focht, M. Lubell, Z. Trachtenberg, A. Vedlitz, & M. Matlock (Eds.), Swimming upstream: Collaborative approaches to watershed management. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  72. Lubell, M., & Fulton, A. (2007a). Local diffusion networks as pathways to sustainable agriculture. California Agriculture, 61(3), 131–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Lubell, M., & Fulton, A. (2007b). Local policy networks and agricultural watershed management. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(4), 673–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Lubell, M., Scholz, J., Berardo, R., & Robins, G. (2012). Testing policy theory with statistical models of networks. Policy Studies Journal, 40(3), 351–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Marin, B., & Mayntz, R. (1991). Policy network: Empirical evidence and theoretical considerations. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.Google Scholar
  76. Marsh, D. (1998). Comparing policy networks: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Marsh, D., & Rhodes, R. (1992). Policy networks in British government. Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Meier, K., & O’Toole, L. (2001). Managerial strategies and behavior in networks: A model with evidence from U.S. public education. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 11(3), 271–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Metz, F., & Ingold, K. (2014a). Policy instrument selection under uncertainty: The case of micropollution regulation. Paper presented at the Conference Paper presented at the Swiss Political Science Association Annual Congress, Berne, January 31, 2014Google Scholar
  80. Metz, F., & Ingold, K. (2014b). Sustainable wastewater management: Is it possible to regulate micropollution in the future by learning from the past? A policy analysis. Sustainability, 6(4), 1992–2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Mintrom, M., & Norman, P. (2009). Policy entrepreneurship and policy change. Policy Studies Journal, 37(4), 649–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Mintrom, M., & Vergari, S. (1996). Advocacy coalitions, policy entrepreneurs, and policy change. Policy Studies Journal, 24(3), 420–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Newig, J., & Fritsch, O. (2009). Environmental governance: Participatory, multi-level—And effective? Environmental Policy and Governance, 19(3), 197–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Newman, L., & Dale, A. (2005). Network structure, diversity, and proactive resilience building: A respone to Tompkins and Adger. Ecology and Society, 10(1).Google Scholar
  85. Nohrstedt, D. (2008). The politics of Crisis policymaking: Chernobyl and Swedish nuclear energy policy. Policy Studies Journal, 36(2), 257–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Nohrstedt, D. (2010). Do advocacy coalitions matter? Crisis and CHANGE in swedish nuclear energy policy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 20, 309–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons. The evolution of institutions for collective actors. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Peters, G., & Hoornbeek, J. (2005). The problem of policy problems. In P. Eliadis, M. Hill, & M. Howlett (Eds.), Designing government. Montreal, Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
  89. Provan, K., & Kenis, P. (2008). Modes of network governance: Structure, management, and effectiveness. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(2), 229–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Provan, K., & Milward, B. (1995). A preliminary theory of interorganizational network effectiveness: A comparative study of four community mental health systems. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(1), 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Putnam, R., Leonardi, R., & Nanetti, R. (1993). Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  92. Richey, S., & Ikeda, K. I. (2006). The influence of political discussion on policy preference: A comparison of the United States and Japan. Japanese Journal of Political Science, 7(3), 273–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Robins, G., Bates, L., & Pattison, P. (2011). Network governance and environmental management: Conflict and cooperation. Public Administration, 89(4), 1293–1313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Sabatier, P. (1987). Knowledge, policy-oriented learning and policy change. An Advocacy Coalition Framework. Science Communication, 8(4), 649–692.Google Scholar
  95. Sabatier, P., & Jenkins-Smith, H. (1993). Policy change and learning: An advocacy coalition approach. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  96. Salamon, L. (2000). The new governance and the tools of public action: An introduction. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 28(5), 1611–1674.Google Scholar
  97. Sandström, A., & Carlsson, L. (2008). The performance of policy networks: The relation between network structure and network performance. The Policy Studies Journal, 36(4), 497–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Sandström, A., Crona, B., & Bodin, Ö. (2014). Legitimacy in Co-management: The impact of preexisting structures, social networks and governance strategies. Environmental Policy and Governance, 24(1), 60–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Schneider, A., & Ingram, H. (1993). Social construction of target populations: Implications for politics and policy. The American Political Science Review, 87(2), 334–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Schneider, M., Scholz, J., Lubell, M., Mindruta, D., & Edwardsen, M. (2003). Building consensual institutions: Networks and the national estuary program. American Journal of Political Science, 47(1), 143–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Schneider, M., Teske, P., & Mintrom, M. (2011). Public entrepreneurs: Agents for change in American government. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Sciarini, P. (1996). Elaboration of the Swiss agricultural policy for the GATT negotiations: A network analysis. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 22(1), 85–115.Google Scholar
  103. Skogstad, G. (2003). Legitimacy and/or policy effectiveness? Network governance and GMO regulation in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 10(3), 321–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Smith, A. (2000). Policy networks and advocacy Coalitions: Explaining policy change and stability in UK industrial pollution policy? Environment and Planning C, Government and Policy, 18, 95–114.Google Scholar
  105. Trebilcock, M., Hartle, D., Prichard, R., & Dewees, R. (1982). The choice of governing instrument. A study prepared for the economicy council of Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing Centre.Google Scholar
  106. Van Meerkerk, I., Edelenbos, J., & Klijn, E.-H. (2015). Connective management and governance network performance: The mediating role of throughput legitimacy. Findings from survey research on complex water projects in the Netherlands. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 33(3), 746–764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Van Waarden, F. (1992). Dimensions and types of policy networks. European Journal of Political Research, 21(Special Issue), 29–52.Google Scholar
  108. Varone, F. (1998). Le choix des instruments des politiques publiques. Une analyse comparée des politiques d’efficience énergétique du Canada, du Danemark, des Etats-Unis, de la Suède et de la Suisse. Bern: Paul Haupt Verlag.Google Scholar
  109. Weible, C., Pattison, A., & Sabatier, P. (2010). Harnessing expert-based information for learning and the sustainable management of complex socio-ecological systems. Environmental Science & Policy, 13(6), 522–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Weible, C., & Sabatier, P. (2005). Comparing policy networks: Marine protected areas in California. Policy Studies Journal, 33(2), 181–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Weible, C., & Sabatier, P. (2006). A guide to the advocacy coalition framework: Tips for researchers. In F. Fischer (Ed.), Handbook of public policy analysis: Theory, politics, and methods. New York: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  112. Weible, C., & Sabatier, P. (2007). The advocacy coalition framework: Innovations and clarifications. In P. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  113. Weiss, C. (1977). Research for polilcy’s sake: The enlightenment function of social research. Policy Analysis, 3(4), 531–545.Google Scholar
  114. Wellmann, B., & Berkowitz, S. (1988). Social structure: A network approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  115. Wilks, S., & Wright, M. (1987). Comparative government-industry relations. Western-Europe, the United States and Japan. Oxford: Claredon Press.Google Scholar
  116. Woodside, K. (1986). Policy instruments and the study of public policy. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 19(4), 775–793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Zafonte, M., & Sabatier, P. (1998). Shared beliefs and imposed interdependencies as determinants of ally networks in overlapping subsystems. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 10(4), 473–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Zuckerman, A. (2005). The social logic of politics: Personal networks as contexts for political behavior. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Political ScienceUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations