Policy as a Moving Target

A Call for Conceptual Realism

by Bjorn Wittrock, Peter DeLeon


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback31 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Since the early 1970s, policy scholars have paid great attention to issues of policy implementation, treating it as the "missing link" between policy formulation and results. Most often, policy problems have been seen as static phenomena that can be corrected by carefully specified programs. This paper, drawing upon examples from Swedish energy policy, argues that this is not the case, that political and social conditions are so prone to change that implementation must be a dynamic process if it is to be effective. This has distinct conceptual and practical implications for the study and design of policy implementation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.