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Comparing blunders in government

Comparing blunders in government
Comparing blunders in government
Much attention has been paid to government ‘blunders’ and ‘policy disasters’. National political and administrative systems have been frequently blamed for being disproportionately prone to generating mishaps. However, little systematic evidence exists on the record of failures of policies and major public projects in other political systems. Based on a comparative perspective on blunders in government, this paper suggests that constitutional features do not play a prominent role. In order to establish this finding, this paper (a) develops theory-driven expectations as to the factors that are said to encourage blunders, (b) devises a systematic framework for the assessment of policy processes and outcomes, and (c) uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to identify sets of causal conditions associated with particular outcomes (i.e. blunders). The paper applies this novel approach to a set of particular policy domains, finding that constitutional features are not a contributory factor to blunders in contrast to instrument choice, administrative capacity and hyper-excited politics.
0304-4130
238-258
Jennings, William
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Lodge, Martin
ccca8f20-f037-4302-aa5e-4e9b1e8f4018
Ryan, Matthew
f07cd3e8-f3d9-4681-9091-84c2df07cd54
Jennings, William
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Lodge, Martin
ccca8f20-f037-4302-aa5e-4e9b1e8f4018
Ryan, Matthew
f07cd3e8-f3d9-4681-9091-84c2df07cd54

Jennings, William, Lodge, Martin and Ryan, Matthew (2018) Comparing blunders in government European Journal of Political Research, 57, (1), pp. 238-258. (doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12230).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Much attention has been paid to government ‘blunders’ and ‘policy disasters’. National political and administrative systems have been frequently blamed for being disproportionately prone to generating mishaps. However, little systematic evidence exists on the record of failures of policies and major public projects in other political systems. Based on a comparative perspective on blunders in government, this paper suggests that constitutional features do not play a prominent role. In order to establish this finding, this paper (a) develops theory-driven expectations as to the factors that are said to encourage blunders, (b) devises a systematic framework for the assessment of policy processes and outcomes, and (c) uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to identify sets of causal conditions associated with particular outcomes (i.e. blunders). The paper applies this novel approach to a set of particular policy domains, finding that constitutional features are not a contributory factor to blunders in contrast to instrument choice, administrative capacity and hyper-excited politics.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 July 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 August 2017
Published date: 1 February 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412127
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412127
ISSN: 0304-4130
PURE UUID: 2b195ab9-33ad-456f-a147-054f4907b192

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Date deposited: 11 Jul 2017 16:31
Last modified: 02 Feb 2018 05:01

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Contributors

Author: Martin Lodge
Author: Matthew Ryan

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