Understanding Policy Dismantling: An Analytical Framework

Michael W. Bauer and Christoph Knill

in Dismantling Public Policy

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656646
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746000 | DOI:
Understanding Policy Dismantling: An Analytical Framework

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This chapter develops a new analytical framework to study policy dismantling. Using a cost-benefit approach, the authors theorize various constellations under which politicians, whose ultimate goal is to ensure their own re-election, engage in policy dismantling. It defines and operationalizes policy dismantling in order to enable the empirical identification and measurement of dismantling in practice. In systematizing empirical knowledge about real-world dismantling cases, a typology of four available strategies to dismantle existing policy is developed: dismantling by default, dismantling by arena-shifting, dismantling by symbolic action and active dismantling. It is posited that a mixture of prevailing macro conditions, institutional opportunities and constraints (both at system-level and policy-level) and, finally, situational factors, will influence politicians' choice of dismantling strategy. The chapter concludes by formulating expectations about the varying outcomes of the choice of specific dismantling strategies.

Keywords: policy dismantling; dismantling preferences; opportunity structures; dismantling strategies; dismantling effects

Chapter.  9199 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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