Policy failures, blame games and changes to policy practice

Hinterleitner, Markus (2017). Policy failures, blame games and changes to policy practice. Journal of public policy, 38(02), pp. 221-242. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0143814X16000283

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Studies examining the policy implications of elite polarisation usually
concentrate on policy formulation and change, but neglect the impact of Polarisation on the day-to-day application of policies. Applying the method of causal process tracing to the Swiss “Carlos” case, a blame game triggered by the reporting about an expensive therapy setting for a youth offender, this article exposes and explains a hitherto neglected, but highly important, mechanism between political elites engaging in blame generation and changes in policy practice. A policy’s distance and visibility to mass publics, as well as the incentives and resources of elites to engage in blame generation, explain the dynamics within blame games, which, in turn, effect organisational and behavioural changes that help institutionalise a more politicised policy practice. Politicised policy practice can make an important difference to policy
target populations, as well as damage output legitimacy and undermine democracy.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

11 Centers of Competence > KPM Center for Public Management

UniBE Contributor:

Hinterleitner, Markus

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

0143-814X

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Markus Hinterleitner

Date Deposited:

14 Jul 2017 09:37

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2018 02:13

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S0143814X16000283

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.101389

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101389

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