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The lessons of policy learning: types, triggers, hindrances and pathologies

Dunlop, CA; Radaelli, CM; (2018) The lessons of policy learning: types, triggers, hindrances and pathologies. Policy & Politics , 46 (2) pp. 255-272. 10.1332/030557318X15230059735521. Green open access

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Abstract

Policy learning is an attractive proposition, but who learns and for what purposes? Can we learn the wrong lesson? And why do so many attempts to learn what works often fail? In this article, we provide three lessons. First, there are four different modes in which constellations of actors learn. Hence our propositions about learning are conditional on which of the four contexts we refer to. Second, policy learning does not just happen; there are specific hindrances and triggers. Thus, learning can be facilitated by knowing the mechanisms to activate and the likely obstacles. Third, learning itself is a conditional final aim: although the official aspiration of public organisations and politicians is to improve on public policy, policy learning can also be dysfunctional – for an organisation, a policy, a constellation of actors or even democracy.

Type: Article
Title: The lessons of policy learning: types, triggers, hindrances and pathologies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1332/030557318X15230059735521
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/030557318X15230059735521
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits adaptation, alteration, reproduction and distribution without further permission provided the original work is attributed. The derivative works do not need to be licensed on the same terms.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Political Science, Public Administration, Government & Law, policy context, policy failure, policy learning, policy transfer, translational reach, EPISTEMIC COMMUNITIES, EUROPEAN-UNION, DELIBERATION, EU, INSTITUTIONS, GOVERNANCE, CAPACITY, POWER, MYTH
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056823
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