Temporary crises and priority changes: the case of state substance abuse systems

Sosin, Michael R., Smith, Steven Rathgeb, Hilton, Timothy and Jordan, Lucy P. (2009) Temporary crises and priority changes: the case of state substance abuse systems Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (doi:10.1093/jopart/mup022).


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Many doubts have been expressed about the capacity of states to administer federally supported social service programs. This article relies on institutional theory, punctuated equilibrium theory, and evidence from two states to analyze the way states administer the programs in times of fiscal crisis. The particular context is the fiscal crisis of the early 2000s in substance abuse programs. The analysis suggest that, during the crisis, state administrative authorities and the providers they funded refocused services on federal rather than local priorities.

The states and providers also further integrated substance abuse services with the services of other programs and promoted managerial practices that seemed to loosen the match between services and clients. The findings point to some of the ways in which the states’ capacities to respond to crises can be undermined by the national trend toward encouraging state discretion. Findings also reveal challenges for state-level crisis management.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/jopart/mup022
ISSNs: 1053-1858 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
ePrint ID: 154931
Date :
Date Event
27 August 2009Accepted/In Press
Date Deposited: 26 May 2010 13:17
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 04:06
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/154931

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