Date: 18 Nov 2011
Understanding and influencing the policy process
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This essay translates some of the underlying logic of existing research of policy processes into a set of strategies for shaping policy agendas and influencing policy development and change. The argument builds from a synthesized model of the individual and a simplified depiction of the political system. Three overarching strategies are introduced that operate at the policy subsystem level: developing deep knowledge; building networks; and participating for extended periods of time. The essay then considers how a democratic ethic can inform these strategies. Ultimately, the success or failure of influencing the policy process is a matter of odds, but these odds could be changed favorably if individuals employ the three strategies consistently over time. The conclusion contextualizes the arguments and interprets the strategies offered as a meta-theoretical argument of political influence.
Baumgartner, F. R., & Jones, B. (1993). Agendas and instability in American Politics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Baumgartner, F. R., Breunig, C., Green-Pedersen, C., Jones, B. D., Mortensen, P. B., Nuytemans, M., et al. (2009). Punctuated equilibrium in comparative perspective. American Journal of Political Science, 53(3), 603–620.CrossRef
Berry, F. S., & Berry, W. D. (1990). State lottery adoptions as policy innovations: An event history analysis. American Political Science Review, 84, 395–415.CrossRef
Berry, F. S., & Berry, W. D. (2007). Innovation and diffusion models in policy research. In P. A. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process (2nd ed., pp. 223–260). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Birkland, T. A. (1997). After disaster: Agenda setting, public policy, and focusing events. Washington: Georgetown University Press.
Birkland, T. A. (2010). An introduction to the policy process (3rd ed.). Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Blomquist, W. (2007). The policy process and large-N comparative studies. In P. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process (pp. 161–293). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Brewer, G. D. (1974). The policy sciences emerge: To nurture and structure a discipline. Policy Sciences, 5(3), 239–244.CrossRef
Brewer, G. D., & deLeon, P. (1983). The foundations of policy analysis. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Clark, T. W. (2002). The policy process: A practical guide for natural resource professionals. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Cohen, S. (2006). Understanding environmental policy. New York: Columbia University Press.
Converse, P. (1964). The nature of belief systems in mass publics. In D. Apter (Ed.), Ideology and discontent (pp. 206–261). New York: Free Press.
Dahl, R. A. (1990). After the revolution? Authority in a good society (Revised Edition ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Dahl, R. A., & Stinebrickner, B. (2003). Modern political analysis. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Dalton, R. J. (2008). The good citizen: How a younger generation is reshaping american politics. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
deLeon, P. (1999). The stages approach to the policy process: What has it done? Where is it going? In P. A. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process (pp. 19–34). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
deLeon, P., & Weible, C. M. (2010). Policy process research for democracy: A commentary on Lasswell’s vision. International Journal of Policy Studies, 1(2), 23–34.
Deutsch, K. W. (1966). The nerves of government. New York: The Free Press.
Edelman, M. (1985). The symbolic uses of politics (2nd ed.). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Ericsson, E. K. (Ed.). (1996). The road to excellence: The acquisition of expert performance in the arts and sciences, sports, and games. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Feiock, R. C., & Scholz, J. T. (2010). Self-Organizing Federalism: Collaborative Mechanisms to Mitigate Institutional Collective Action Dilemmas. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Freeman, J. L. (1965). The political process: Executive bureau-legislative committee relations (2nd ed.). New York: Random House, Inc.
Gerston, L. N. (2008). Public policymaking in a democratic society: A guide to civic engagement (2nd ed.). Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRef
Greenberg, G. D., Miller, J. A., Mohr, L. B., & Vladeck, B. C. (1977). Developing public policy theory: Perspectives from empirical research. The American Political Science Review, 71(4), 1532–1543.CrossRef
Haas, P. M. (1992). Introduction: Epistemic communities and international policy coordination. International Organization, 46, 1–35.CrossRef
Heclo, H. (1974). Social policy in Britain and Sweden. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Heclo, H. (1978). Issue networks and the executive establishment. In A. King (Ed.), The new American political system (pp. 87–124). Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute.
Henry, A. D., Douglas, L., & Michael, M. (2011). 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), 419–444.CrossRef
Herron, K. G., & Jenkins-Smith, H. C. (2006). Critical masses and critical choices: Evolving public opinion on nuclear weapons, terrorism, and security. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Hofferbert, R. I. (1974). The study of public policy. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.
Ingram, H., Schneider, A. L., & deLeon, P. (2007). Social construction and policy design. In P. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process (2nd ed., pp. 93–128). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Janis, I. (1972). Victims of groupthink. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Jasanoff, S. (1990). The fifth branch: Science advisors as policymakers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Jenkins-Smith, H. (1990). Democratic politics and policy analysis. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Jenkins-Smith, H., Gilbert, St. C., & Brian, W. (1991). Explaining change in policy subsystems: Analysis of coalition stability and defection over time. American Journal of Political Science, 35(4), 851–880.CrossRef
Jochim, A. E., & May, P. J. (2010). Beyond subsystems: Policy regimes and governance. Policy Studies Journal, 38(2), 303–327.CrossRef
Jones, B. D. (2001). Politics and the architecture of choice: Bounded rationality and governance. Chicago, IL: The University Chicago Press.
Jones, B. D., Sulkin, T., & Larsen, H. A. (2003). Policy punctuations in American political institutions. American Political Science Review, 97(1), 151–169.CrossRef
Jones, B. D., & Baumgartner, F. R. (2005). The politics of attention. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kingdon, J. (1984). Agendas, alternatives, and public policies. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
Kiser, L. L., & Ostrom, E. (1982). The three worlds of action: A metatheoretical synthesis of institutional arrangements. In E. Ostrom (Ed.), Strategies of political inquiry (pp. 179–222). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2007). Public policy: Politics, analysis, and alternatives (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C: CQ Press.
Kuhn, T. K. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions (3rd ed.). Chicago: Chicago UP.
Lakatos, I. (1970). Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programmes. In I. Lakatos & A. Musgrave (Eds.), Criticism, the growth of knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Lane, R. E. (2000). The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Lasswell, H. D. (1948). Power and personality. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.
Lasswell, H. D. (1951). The policy orientation. In D. Lerner & H. D. Lasswell (Eds.), The policy sciences (Vol. Chap 1). Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Lasswell, H. D. (1956). The decision process. College Park: University of Maryland Press.
Lasswell, H. D. (1971). A pre-view of policy sciences. New York: American Elsevier.
Lindblom, C. E., & Cohen, D. K. (1979). Usable knowledge: Social science and social problem solving. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Loehle, C. (1987). Hypothesis testing in ecology: Psychological aspects and the importance of theory maturation. Quarterly Review of Biology, 62, 397–409.CrossRef
Madison, J. (1961). Federalist #10. In C. Rossiter (Ed.), The Federalist papers. New York: New American Library.
Majone, G. (1989). Evidence, argument, & persuasion in the policy process. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Mazur, A. (1981). The dynamics of technical controversy. Washington, D.C.: Communications Press.
May, P. J. (1992). Policy learning and failure. Journal of Public Policy, 12(4), 331–354.CrossRef
Mazmanian, D., & Sabatier, P. A. (1980). A multi-variate model of public policy-making. American Journal of Political Science, 24(3), 439–468.CrossRef
Mazmanian, D., & Sabatier, P. (1981). Implementation and public policy. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Moran, M., Rein, M., & Goodin, R. F. (Eds.). (2006). The oxford handbook of public policy. New York: Oxford University Press.
McCool, D. (1995). Public policy theories, models, and concepts: An anthology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Noel, H. (2010). Ten things political scientists know that you don’t. The Forum, 8(3), 1–19.CrossRef
Norton, B. G. (2005). Sustainability: A philosophy of adaptive ecosystem management. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Nohrstedt, D. & Weible, C. M. (2010). The logic of policy change after crisis: Proximity and subsystem interaction. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 1(2), 1–32.
Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ostrom, E., Schroeder, L., & Wynne, S. (1993). Institutional incentives and sustainable development: Infrastructure policies perspective. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Ostrom, E., Gardner, R., & Walker, J. (1994). Rules, games, and common-pool resources. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ostrom, E. (1999). A behavioral approach to rational choice theory of collective action. American Political Science Review, 92(March):1–22.
Ostrom, E. (2005). Understanding institutional diversity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. (1978). The external control of organizations. New York: Harper and Row.
Poteete, A. R., Janssen, M. A., & Ostrom, E. (2010). Working together: Collective action, the commons, and multiple methods in practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Pralle, S. (2003). Venue shopping, political strategy, and policy change: The internationalization of Canadian forestry advocacy. Journal of public policy, 23(3), 233–260.
Pressman, J. L., & Wildavsky, A. B. (1972). Implementation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Ranney, A. (Ed.). (1968). Political science and public policy. Chicago, IL: Markham Publishing Company.
Redford, E. S. (1969). Democracy in the administrative state. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rhoades, R. A. W. (2006). Policy network analysis. In M. Moran, M. Rein, & R. F. Goodin (eds) The oxford handbook of public policy (pp. 425–447). New York: Oxford University Press.
Sabatier, P. A., Hunter, S., & McLaughlin, S. (1987). The devil shift: Perceptions and misperceptions of opponents. The Western Political Quarterly, 40(3), 449–476.CrossRef
Sabatier, P. A. (1988). An advocacy coalition framework of policy change and the role of policy-oriented learning therein. Policy Sciences, 21, 129–168.
Sabatier, P. A. (1991). Toward better theories of the policy process. PS: Political Science and Politics, 24(2), 147–156.CrossRef
Sabatier, P. A., & Jenkins-Smith, H. (1993). Policy change and learning: An advocacy coalition approach. Boulder: Westview Press.
Sabatier, P. A. (1999). Theories of the policy process. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Sabatier, P. A., & Jenkins-Smith, H. (1999). The advocacy coalition framework: An assessment. In P. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Sabatier, P. A. (2007). Theories of the policy process. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Sabatier, P. A., & Weible, C. M. (2007). The advocacy coalition: Innovations and clarifications. In P. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy Process (2nd ed., pp. 189–220). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Sharkansky, I. (1970). Policy analysis in political science. Chicago: Markham.
Schattschneider, E. E. (1969). The semi-sovereign people. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Schlager, E. (2004). Common-pool resource theory. In R. F. Durant, R. O’Leary, & D. J. Fiorino (Eds.), Environmental governance reconsidered: Challenges, choices, opportunities (pp. 145–176). Boston, MA: MIT Press.
Simeon, R. (1976). Studying public policy. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 9(4), 548–580.CrossRef
Simon, H. A. (1985). The human nature in politics: The dialogue of psychology with political science. American Political Science Review, 79(2), 293–304.CrossRef
Simon, H. (1996). The Sciences of the Artificial (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Smith, K. B., & Larimer, C. (2009). The new policy theory primer. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Stone, D. (2001). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making (3rd ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Tetlock, P. E. (2005). Expert political judgment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Van de Ven, A. H. (2007). Engaged scholarship: A guide for organizational and social research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Walker, J. L. (1969). The diffusion of innovations among the American states. American Political Science Review, 63, 880–899.CrossRef
Weible, C. M., & Moore, R. H. (2010). Analytics and beliefs: Competing explanations for defining problems and in choosing allies and opponents in collaborative environmental management. Public Administration Review, 70, 756–766.CrossRef
Weiss, C. (1977). Research for policy’s sake: The enlightenment function of social research. Policy Analysis, 3, 531–545.
Zafonte, M., & Sabatier, P. A. (2004). Short-term versus long-term coalitions in the policy process: Automotive pollution control, 1963–1989. The Policy Studies Journal, 32(1), 75–107.CrossRef
- Understanding and influencing the policy process
Volume 45, Issue 1 , pp 1-21
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Public policy
- Policy analysis
- Policy change
- Institutional change
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, 1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO, 80217, USA
- 2. Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California Davis, 916 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 96616, USA