First published as a special issue of Policy & Politics, this updated volume explores policy failures and the valuable opportunities for learning that they offer.
Policy successes and failures offer important lessons for public officials, but often they do not learn from these experiences. The studies in this volume investigate this broken link. The book defines policy learning and failure and organises the main studies in these fields along the key dimensions of processes, products and analytical levels. Drawing together a range of experts in the field, the volume sketches a research agenda linking policy scholars with policy practice.
“How do we know if policies have failed and in what way? Do we really want to learn, or to bury our heads in the sand? This marvellous collection of insights and case studies tackles the intersection of these issues in innovative and thought-provoking ways.” Allan McConnell, University of Sydney
“This book brings together two aspects of policy analysis in interesting and creative ways. Policy learning is often treated as a remedy for policy failures, but we find that learning can have its own pathologies. And failures may be a source of learning and improvement if considered properly. The analytic and empirical work in this book make significant contributions to our understanding of both failure and success in public policy.” B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh
Claire A. Dunlop is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Exeter, UK. A public policy and administration scholar, her main fields of interest include the politics of expertise and knowledge utilization; risk governance; policy learning and analysis; impact assessment; and policy narratives.
Policy learning and policy failure: definitions, dimensions and intersections ~ Claire A. Dunlop
Pathologies of policy learning: what are they and how do they contribute to policy failure? ~ Claire A. Dunlop
Overcoming the failure of 'silicon somewheres': learning in policy transfer processes ~ Sarah Giest
Between policy failure and policy success: bricolage, experimentalism and translation in policy transfer ~ Diane Stone
British Columbia's fast ferries and Sydney's Airport Link: partisan barriers to learning from policy failure ~ Joshua Newman and Malcolm G. Bird
Policy failures, policy learning and institutional change: the case of Australian health insurance policy change ~ Adrian Kay
Policy myopia as a source of policy failure: adaptation and policy learning under deep uncertainty ~ Sreeja Nair and Michael Howlett