Adaptive governance through policy design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Policy design is a topic of enduring interest to policy scholars. The study of policy design- sometimes conceived of as policy formulation and sometimes as a designed policy output- yields critical information about which stakeholders engage in the policy process, how these stakeholders vet and select instruments to address public problems, and how governments' plans to address public problems are constructed and codified within the actual language of public policy. Understanding of these topics can ultimately be leveraged toward the broader assessment of whether policies are, or will be, effective. That is, they can support evaluations of whether stakeholder dynamics and activities, instrument choice, and the construction of policy language matter in shaping policy outcomes. This chapter presents another set of questions that may have bearing on the link between policy design and policy outcomes within different domains: First, is policy design suited to the dynamic contexts in which it embeds? Relatedly, what does policy design that can adapt to dynamic contexts look like? To support understanding relating to these questions, this chapter (i) provides a brief overview of existing scholarship on adaptive policy design, highlighting key features thereof; (ii) connects scholarship on adaptive policy design to policy process scholarship that relates conceptually or empirically thereto; and (iii) offers opportunities for advancing research on adaptive policy design within the broader field of policy studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook of Policy Design
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781839106606
ISBN (Print)9781839106590
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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