Edited by H. K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe
Chapter 12: Linkage and the policy process
The task of ‘policy-making’ implies a ‘policy-maker’, but it is not easy to identify this actor – in fact, there is a tension between the imagery of individual choice, and the empirical accounts of continuing interaction in the policy process. It appears that achieving a policy outcome calls for the involvement of a range of significant figures, and this generates relatively stable patterns of linkage, but policy is seen as being ‘made’ by a clear, authoritative figure. This appears to give rise to two different accounts of policy, one an authority-based account of ‘official problem-solving’, the other an interactive account of the ‘collective managing of the problematic’. This chapter traces the ways in which linking between policy participants has been explained in the literature, culminating in the present use of ‘governance’. It points to the problematic relationship between identity, understanding and collaboration, the ways in which practitioners manage apparently conflicting accounts, and the significance of these tensions for the academic analysis of relationships in the policy process.
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