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The Quest for Complex Policy

Exploring the Tensions between Simplification and Complexification in Public Policymaking

E-book Pdf met watermerkbeveiliging Engels 2022 9789051894509
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Samenvatting

Governments often present societal problems simpler than they are. In public policy, problems are bound, extracted from their context, and provided with one-dimensional solutions. As demonstrated in this book, ‘criminal youth groups’ must be imprisoned, and the municipal transport service must get passengers from A to B as quickly as possible. Because of these simplifi cations, policy becomes superfi cial, often with disappointing results.

This book searches for an alternative policy orientation that accommodates the entanglement and multi-dimensionality of societal problems in public policy. Using philosophical refl ections, Public Administration literature and three in-depth case studies, the author shows how ‘complex policy’ better fi ts the late-modern society and produces innovative and rich results. He also analyses the tensions of complexifying policy in an organisational context of institutionalised simplicity. Simplifi cation reflexes threaten the space for and results of complexifi cation. Policymakers should be ambidextrous: accommodating complexity in public policy while being responsive to the institutional need for simplicity.

Specificaties

ISBN13:9789051894509
Taal:Engels
Bindwijze:e-book
Beveiliging:watermerk
Bestandsformaat:pdf
Aantal pagina's:157
Druk:1
Verschijningsdatum:24-2-2022
Hoofdrubriek:Organisatiekunde
ISSN:
Jongbloed:Bestuurskunde

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Inhoudsopgave

1 Complexity and Public Policy 9
1.1 Welcoming the Danger 9
1.2 The Problem of Complexity and Policymaking 9
1.3 Researching Simplification and Complexification 12
1.4 Introducing the Case Studies 13
1.4.1 Case 1: Transforming Station Square in Utrecht 13
1.4.2 Case 2: Redesigning Mobility Transport Service in Rotterdam 16
1.4.3 Case 3: Reducing the Number of Criminal Youth Groups 17
1.5 Position in the Field of Public Administration 18
1.6 Outline of This Book 20

2 The Evolution of Knowledge 21
2.1 Introduction 21
2.2 Design: Three Case Studies 21
2.2.1 Case Characteristics 21
2.2.2 Case Selection 23
2.2.3 Insider’s Perspective 23
2.2.4 Interviews and Documents 25
2.2.5 Building Case Narratives 26
2.3 The Evolution of Knowledge 26
2.4 The Quality of Knowledge 30
2.4.1 Transferability 31
2.4.2 Credibility 32
2.4.3 Confirmability 33
2.4.4 Dependability 33
2.4.5 Additional Criteria 34

3 Simplification 35
3.1 Introduction 35
3.2 Setting the Scene: ‘Seeing Like a State’ 36
3.2.1 Examples 36
3.2.2 Characteristics 37
3.3 Philosophy: The Machine Worldview 38
3.4 Theory: Simplification of Policymaking 39
3.4.1 Simplification of Policy Content 40
3.4.2 Simplification of Policy Processes 41
3.4.3 Simplification of Policy Structures 42
3.4.4 Summary 43
3.5 Practice: Empirical Manifestations of Simplification 44
3.5.1 The Station Square 44
3.5.2 Mobility Transport Service 45
3.5.3 Criminal Youth Groups 47
3.6 Analysis of the Cases 49
3.6.1 Content of Policymaking 49
3.6.2 Processes of Policymaking 50
3.6.3 Structures of Policymaking 50
3.6.4 Highlighting Some Elements of Simplification 51
3.7 Conclusion 52

4 Complexification 55
4.1 Introduction 55
4.2 Setting the Scene: The Idea of Increasing Complexity 55
4.3 Philosophy: The Complex System Worldview 57
4.4 Theory: Complexification of Policymaking 58
4.4.1 Complexification of Policy Content 59
4.4.2 Complexification of Policy Processes 60
4.4.3 Complexification of Policy Structures 61
4.4.4 Summary 62
4.5 Practice: Empirical Manifestations of Complexification 63
4.5.1 The Station Square Utrecht 63
4.5.2 The Mobility Transport Service 65
4.5.3 Criminal Youth Groups 69
4.6 Analysis of the Cases 71
4.6.1 Policy Content 71
4.6.2 Policy Process 72
4.6.3 Policy Structure 73
4.6.4 Highlighting Some Elements of Complexification 74
4.7 Conclusion 76

5 Empirical Intermezzo 77
5.1 Introduction 77
5.2 Case 1: The Station Square 77
5.3 Case 2: Mobility Transport Service 80
5.4 Case 3: Criminal Youth Groups 84

6 Strengths and Weaknesses 87
6.1 Introduction 87
6.2 Simplification 87
6.2.1 Targeted Action and Problem-Solving 87
6.2.2 Policy Poverty 88
6.2.3 Boundary Interferences 90
6.2.4 Undesired Path-Dependency 91
6.3 Complexification 92
6.3.1 Policy Enrichment 92
6.3.2 Network Empowerment 93
6.3.3 Collaborative Innovation 94
6.3.4 Lack of Clarity and Grip 95
6.3.5 Regime Alienation 97
6.4 Conclusion 98

7 Dialectics 101
7.1 Introduction 101
7.2 Dialectics in Time 101
7.2.1 Ebb and Flow 102
7.2.2 Cat and Dog 106
7.3 Dialectics in Place 108
7.4 Combining Time and Place 109
7.5 Evaluating the Dialectics 109
7.6 Conclusion 111

8 Conclusion 115
8.1 Introduction 115
8.2 Conclusions 115
8.2.1 The Potential of Complexifying Policy 115
8.2.2 The Poverty of Simplicity 116
8.2.3 Theoretical Movements Towards Complexification 117
8.2.4 Complexification in a Context of Institutional Simplicity 119
8.2.5 Looking for a Pragmatic Integration 120
8.3 Reflection 121
8.3.1 Simplification and Complexification: Beyond Simplicity 122
8.3.2 A Rationalist Perspective on Policy? 124
8.4 Implications for Theory and Practice 126
8.4.1 Exploring the Art of Improvisation 126
8.4.2 Handling the Organizational Tensions in Dealing with Complex Issues 127
8.4.3 Beyond the Splitting of Simplification and Complexification in Public Policymaking 128
8.4.4 Developing a Critical-Reflective Attitude in Public Administration 129
8.4.5 Important Ingredients for Researching Complex Policy Processes 130

References 133
Attachments 151

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