Edited by H. K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe
Chapter 26: From policy typologies to policy feedback
This chapter examines Theodore J. Lowi’s ‘Arenas of Power’ approach to analysing the policy process, a theoretical approach with considerable – though incompletely fulfilled – _promise. It notes that much of the subsequent related scholarship centred on the political impact of policy has broadened out into the terminology of ‘policy feedback’. It is suggested that, while this has been insightful, it has is less theoretically parsimonious than Lowi’s Arenas of Power. The chapter reviews critically both Lowi’s approach and that of Pierson (as the leading advocate of policy feedback), concluding that Lowi’s approach has been limited by a couple of issues that can be remedied, and that when this is done, the feedback approach — while it provides additional insights — has less justification. It also notes that the social constructivist turn adds value, especially by drawing attention to the significance of normative ideas in impacting the policy process.
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