The Logic of Appropriateness

James G. March and Johan P. Olsen

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548453
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 The Logic of Appropriateness

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This article focuses on the rules of appropriateness in the context of formally organized political institutions and democratic political orders. It tries to determine how an understanding of the role of rule-driven behaviour in life may clarify thinking about political life. It sketches the basic ideas of rule-based action, and then describes some of the characteristics of contemporary democratic settings. It examines the relationship between action and rules, along with the elements of slippage in executing rules, the dynamics of rules, and the standards of appropriateness. The last section of the article highlights a possible compromise of different logics of action.

Keywords: rules of appropriateness; democratic political orders; rule-driven behaviour; rule-based action; contemporary democratic settings; slippage; logics of action; standards of appropriateness

Article.  9368 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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