Policy Sciences

, Volume 37, Issue 3–4, pp 339–356 | Cite as

Policy and power: A conceptual framework between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ policy idioms

  • Bas Arts
  • Jan Van Tatenhove


During the last few decades, both policy practices and policy idioms have drastically changed. Concepts such as interactive planning, network management, stakeholder dialogue, deliberative democracy, policy discourses, governance, etc. have replaced older ones such as public administration, policy programmes, interest groups, institutions, power, and the like. Although we recognise the relevance and importance of this shift in vocabulary, we also regret related ‘losses’. We particularly regret that the concept of power has – in our view – become an ‘endangered species’ in the field of public policy analysis. We therefore will develop a framework to analyse power – being a multi-layered concept – in policy practices in this article. We will do so on the basis of the so-called policy arrangement approach, which combines elements of the old and new policy vocabularies. In addition, we draw upon different power theories in developing our argument and model. As a result, we hope to combine the best of two worlds, of the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ idioms in policy studies, and to achieve our two aims: to bring back in the concept of power in current policy analysis and to expand the policy arrangement approach from a power perspective.


policy analysis policy arrangements political modernisation policy innovation power analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albrow, M. (1996). The Global Age. State and Society Beyond Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  2. Arts, B. (1998). The Political Influence of Global NGOs. Case Studies on the Climate and Biodiversity Conventions. Utrecht: International Books.Google Scholar
  3. Arts, B. (2002). ‘Green Alliances' of Business and NGOs. New Styles of Self-Regulation or ‘Dead-End Roads’? Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management 9(1): 26–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arts, B. and en P. Leroy, red. (2003). Verandering van politiek, vernieuwing van milieubeleid. Klassieke en post-moderne arrangementen. Nijmegen: Nijmegen University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Arts, B., M. Noortmann and B. Reinalda (eds.) (2001). Non-state Actors in International Relations. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Arts, B. and J. van Tatenhove (2000). ‘Environmental policy arrangements: A new concept,’ in H. Goverde (ed.), Global and European Polity? Organizations, Policies, Contexts. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 223–237.Google Scholar
  7. Bachrach, P. and M. Baratz (1962). ‘Two faces of power,’ American Political Science Review 56: 947–952.Google Scholar
  8. Baldwin, D. A. (2002). ‘Power and international relations,’ in W. Carlsnaes, T. Risse and B. A. Simmons (eds.), Handbook of International Relations. London: SAGE, pp. 177–189.Google Scholar
  9. Beck, U. (1994). ‘The reinvention of politics: Towards a theory of reflexive modernization,’ in U. Beck, A. Giddens and S. Lash (eds.), Reflexive Modernization. Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Oxford: Polity Press, pp. 1–55.Google Scholar
  10. Beck, U. (1996). ‘World risk society as cosmopolitan society? Ecological questions in a framework of manufactured uncertainties,’ Theory, Culture & Society 13(4): 1–32.Google Scholar
  11. Beck, U. (1998). ‘Politics of risk society’, in J. Franklin (ed.), The Politics of Risk Society. Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 9–22.Google Scholar
  12. Beck, U. (2000). ‘The cosmopolitan perspective: Sociology of the second age of modernity,’ British Journal of Sociology 51(1): 79–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bourdieu, P. (1980). ‘Quelques propriétés des champ,’ in Dutch translation in Dick Pels (1989). Pierre Bourdieu. Opstellen over smaak, habitus en het veldbegrip. Amsterdam: Van Gennip.Google Scholar
  14. Brouns, M. (1993). De homo economicus als winkeldochter. Theorieën over arbeid, macht en sekse. Nijmegen: SUN.Google Scholar
  15. Castells, M. (1996). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume I, The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford UK, Malden USA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  16. Castells, M. (1997). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume II, Power of Identity. Oxford, UK; Malden, USA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Castells, M. (1998). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume III End of Millennium. Oxford, UK; Malden, USA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  18. Clegg, S. R. (1989). Frameworks of Power. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  19. Dahl, R. A. (1957). ‘The concept of power,’ Behavioral Science 2: 201–215.Google Scholar
  20. Dahl, R. A. (1961). Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Driessen, P. and P. Glasbergen (eds.) (2002). Greening Society. The Paradigm Shift in Dutch Environmental Politics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Dryzek, J. S. (1997). The Politics of the Earth. Environmental Discourses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Elias, N. (1970). Was ist Soziologie? München: Juventa Verlag.Google Scholar
  24. Foucault, M. (1984). De wil tot weten. Nijmegen: SUN (Dutch translation of Histoire de la sexualité 1. La volonté de savoir. Parijs: Gallimard, 1976).Google Scholar
  25. Frouws, J. (1993). Mest en macht. Een politiek-sociologische studie naar belangenbehartiging en beleidsvorming inzake de mestproblematiek in Nederland vanaf 1970, PhD Dissertation, Wageningen.Google Scholar
  26. Gerth, H. H. and C. Wright Mills (eds.) (1982). From Max Weber. Essays in Sociology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  27. Gibbins, J. and B. Reimer (1999). The Politics of Postmodernity. An Introduction to Contemporary Politics and Culture. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  28. Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution of Society. Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  29. Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Oxford: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  30. Goehler, G. (2000). ‘Constitution and the use of power,’ in H. Goverde, P. Cerny, M. Haugaard and H. Lentner (eds.), Power in Contemporary Politics. London: SAGE, pp. 41–58.Google Scholar
  31. Goverde, H. P., C. M. Haugaard and H. Lentner (eds.) (2000). Power in Contemporary Politics. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  32. Goverde, H. and J. van Tatenhove (2000). ‘Power and policy networks,’ in H. Goverde, P. Cerny, M. Haugaard and H. Lentner (eds.), Power in Contemporary Politics. London: SAGE, pp. 96–111.Google Scholar
  33. Guzzini, S. (1993). ‘Structural power: The limits of neorealist power analysis,’ International Organization 47(3): 443–478.Google Scholar
  34. Haas, E. (1990). Saving the Mediteranean. New York: Colombia UP.Google Scholar
  35. Hajer, M. A. (2003). ‘De beleidsarrangementen-benadering en de institutionele leegte,’ in B. Arts en P. Leroy (ed.), Verandering van politiek, vernieuwing van milieubeleid. Klassieke en post-moderne arrangementen. Nijmegen: Nijmegen University Press, pp. 39–58.Google Scholar
  36. Hajer, M. A. (2000). Politiek als vormgeving. Oratie, Universiteit van Amsterdam (in Dutch).Google Scholar
  37. Hajer, M. A. (1995). The Politics of Environmental Discourse: Ecological Modernization and the Policy Process. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Held, D. (1989). Political Theory and the Modern State. Essays on State, Power and Democracy. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  39. Held, D. (1995). Democracy and the Global Order. From the Modern State to Cosmopolitan Governance. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  40. Hewson, M. and T. Sinclair (eds.) (1999). Approaches to Global Governance Theory. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  41. Hocking, B. and M. Smith (1990), World Politics. An Introduction to International Relations, New York: Harvester/Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  42. Hoogenboom, B. (1998). Mexico and the NAFTA Environment Debate. The Transnational Politics of Economic Integration. Utrecht: Van Arkel/International Books.Google Scholar
  43. Hooghe, L. and G. Marks (2001). Multi-level Governance and European Integration. Lanham, etc.: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  44. Keohane, R. O. and J. S. Nye (eds.) (1971). Transnational Relations and World Politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Keohane, R. O. and J. S. Nye (eds.) (1989). Power and Interdependence. World Politics in Transition. Glenview: Scott Foresman and Company.Google Scholar
  46. Kickert, W. J. M., E. H. Klijn and J. F. M. Koppenjan (eds.) (1997). Managing Complex Networks. Strategies for the Public Sector. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  47. Knill, C. (2001). The Europeanisation of National Administrations. Patterns of Institutional Change and Persistence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Kumar, K. (1995). From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society. New Theories of the Contemporary World. Oxford, UK; Cambridge, USA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  49. Lasswell, H. D. (1971). A Pre-View of Policy Sciences. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  50. Lasswell, H. D. and A. Kaplan (1950). Power and Society. A Framework for Political Inquiry. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Leroy, P. and J. van Tatenhove en B. Arts (2001). ‘Politieke modernisering en beleidsarrange-menten: een interpretatiekader voor vernieuwingen in het milieubeleid,’ Beleidsweten-schap 15(3): 209–228.Google Scholar
  52. Liefferink, J. D. (1995). Environmental Policy on the Way to Brussels. The Issue of Acidification Between the Netherlands and the European Community. Wageningen: WAU.Google Scholar
  53. Lowndes, V. (2002). ‘Institutionalism’, in D. Marsh and G. Stoker (eds.), Theory and Methods in Political Sciences (second edition). New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 90–108.Google Scholar
  54. Lukes, S. (1974). Power. A Radical View. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  55. Marsh, J. G. and J. P. Olson (1989). Rediscovering Institutions. The Organizational Basis for Politics. New York.Google Scholar
  56. Marsh, D. and R. A. W. Rhodes (eds.) (1992). Policy Networks in British Government. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  57. Nelissen, N., H. Goverde en N. van Gestel, red. (2000). Bestuurlijk vermogen. Analyse en beoordeling van nieuwe vormen van besturen. Bussum: Coutinho.Google Scholar
  58. Putnam, R. D. (1988). ‘Diplomacy and domestic politics – the logic of 2-Level gGames,’ International Organization 42(3): 427–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ray, L. R. (1987). Global Politics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  60. Risse-Kappen, T. (eds.) (1995). Bringing Transnational Relations Back In. Non-State Actors, Domestic Structures and International Institutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Risse, Th. (2002). Arguing and Persuasion in Multilateral Negotiations. Free University of Berlin: Unpublished paper.Google Scholar
  62. Sabatier, P. A. (1987). ‘Knowledge, policy-oriented learning, and policy change,’ Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization 8(4): 649–692.Google Scholar
  63. Scharpf, F. W. (1997). Games Real Actors Play: Actor-Centered Institutionalism in Policy Research (3rd ed.). Boulder, etc.: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  64. Stone S. A., W. Sandholtz and N. Fligstein (eds.) (2001). The Institutionalization of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Van Kersbergen, K. and F. van Waarden (2001). Shifts in Governance: Problems of Legitimacy and Accountability. The Hague: Social Science Research Council.Google Scholar
  66. Van Tatenhove, J. (1999). ‘Political modernisation and the institutionalisation of environmental policy,’ in Marcel Wissenburg, Gökhan Orkan, Ute Collier (eds.), European Discources on Environmental Policy. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 59–78.Google Scholar
  67. Van Tatenhove, J., B. Arts and P. Leroy (eds.), (2000). Political Modernisation and the Environment. The Renewal of Environmental Policy Arrangements. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  68. Van Tatenhove, J. (2001). ‘De meervoudige groene ruimte,’ in Henk de Haan, Tuur Mol en Gert Spaargaren (eds.), Het precaire evenwicht tussen distantie en betrokkenheid. Wageningen: WUR, pp. 98–113.Google Scholar
  69. Tatenhove, J. and H. Goverde (2002). ‘Strategies in environmental policy. A historical institutional perspective’, in P. Driessen and P. Glasbergen (eds.), Greening Society. The Paradigm Shift in Dutch Environmental Politics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 47–63.Google Scholar
  70. Van Waarden, F. (1992). ‘Dimensions and types of policy networks,’ European Journal of Political Research 21(1–2): February 1992: pp. 29–52.Google Scholar
  71. Weber, M. (1964). The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  72. Wenger, E. (1998). ‘Communities of practice. Learning as a social system,’ in Systems Thinker.Google Scholar
  73. Willets, P. (eds.), (1982). Pressure Groups in the Global System. London: Frances Pinter.Google Scholar
  74. Woods, L. (1993). ‘Nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations System: Reflection upon the Earth Summit,’ International Studies Notes (1): 9–15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bas Arts
    • 1
  • Jan Van Tatenhove
    • 1
  1. 1.Wageningen University & Research CentreRadboud UniversityNijmegen

Personalised recommendations