UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Can't get no learning: the Brexit fiasco through the lens of policy learning

Dunlop, CA; James, S; Radaelli, CM; (2019) Can't get no learning: the Brexit fiasco through the lens of policy learning. Journal of European Public Policy , 27 (5) pp. 703-722. 10.1080/13501763.2019.1667415. Green open access

[thumbnail of Radaelli with Dunlop and James 2019 - Can t get no learning the Brexit fiasco.pdf]
Preview
Text
Radaelli with Dunlop and James 2019 - Can t get no learning the Brexit fiasco.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

It seems paradoxical to suggest that theories of learning might be used to explain policy failure. Yet the Brexit fiasco connects with recent approaches linking varieties of policy learning to policy pathologies. This article sets out to explain the UK government’s (mis)management of the Brexit process from June 2016 to May 2019 from a policy learning perspective. Drawing on interviews with UK policy-makers and stakeholders, we ask how did the UK government seek to learn during the Brexit negotiations? We consider four modes of learning: reflexivity, epistemic, hierarchical, and bargaining. By empirically tracing the policy process and scope conditions for each of these, we argue that learning through the first three modes proved highly dysfunctional. This forced the government to rely on bargaining between competing factions, producing a highly political form of learning which stymied the development of a coherent Brexit strategy. We argue that the analysis of Brexit as a policy process – rather than a political event – reveals how policy dynamics play an important role in shaping the political context within which they are located. The article concludes that public policy analysis can, therefore, add significant value to our understanding of Brexit by endogenising accounts of macro political developments.

Type: Article
Title: Can't get no learning: the Brexit fiasco through the lens of policy learning
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2019.1667415
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2019.1667415
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Political Science, Public Administration, Government & Law, Brexit, policy failure, policy fiascos, policy learning, LESSONS, EU
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/10082506
Downloads since deposit
61Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item