, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 123-131

Policy termination as a political process

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The problem of how to terminate ineffective or outdated public policies, programs, or organizations is increasingly important. This paper argues that it is helpful to conceive of termination as a special case of the policy adoption process: there is a struggle to adopt a policy A, the substance of which is to eliminate or curtail policy B. The main distinguishing feature of this class of policy contests is the activity of “vested interests” who are able to advance a peculiarly powerful moral claim concerning the “inequity” or “unfairness” of change.