Key features of public policy change in both MS and DI are ideas and

Key features of public policy change in both ms and

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Key features of public policy change in both MS and DI are ideas and alternatives. Their understanding of the role of an idea is reflected in a quote by Keynes (1936, p. 383):
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107 “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else … I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas” . Both MS and DI assume that ideas, problems and policy solutions are socially constructed. This assumption is implicit in MS where it differentiates conditions and problems: “Conditions become defined as problems when we come to believe that we should do something about them” (Kingdon 2011, p. 109) Further, MS suggests that a policy idea might exist before problems occur and that PEs manipulate information (e.g., construct problems) to push their ‘pet solution’ onto an agenda. Similarly, DI argues that a situation or condition can be observed simply by asking “What is?”. This does not mean that this situation necessarily constitutes a problem (Schmidt 2008, p. 306). Both MS and DI demonstrate an affinity to an ideational and social construction approach and attribute a high level of agency to their actors. The starting point of the agenda setting process can therefore begin with the identification of problems or ideas or both can occur simultaneously. If the policy idea is identified first, it will eventually become a policy solution to problems over time. The problem and policy ideas are both subjects of the agenda setting process. MS assumes that problems need to be associated with the solution to make a successful agenda entrance. Schmidt warns that ideas and discourse should not be seen as the only explanatory elements for policy change. She suggests that HI considerations can form the background to a DI analysis. Examples of this approach are studies by Buitelaar et al. (2007), Buitelaar and De Kam (2011), Campbell (2002) and Schmidt (2006). De Buitelaar et al. found that a critical moment, typically externally driven, arises before a
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108 critical juncture (a window of opportunity) in which policy change is successfully institutionalised. This thesis follows that approach. First , Campbell’s typology of ideas provides an HI perspective of the cognitive and normative dimension on a philosophical level. For the purpose of this thesis, MS’ success factors are defined as specific criteria in the pre- policy and policy level consideration. Campbell’s (1998) adjusted typology of ideas is provided in Figure 4.4. Figure 4.4: Adjusted Typology of Ideas Pre-policy and Policy level Program level Philosophical level Idea in the foreground of the policy debate Concepts and theories in the foreground of the policy debate Underlying assumptions in the background of the policy debate Cognitive level Policy technical aspect How does a policy offer solution to a problem Technical feasibility Programs Ideas as elite policy prescriptions that help policy makers to chart a
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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