Cover: Policy as a Moving Target

Policy as a Moving Target

A Call for Conceptual Realism

Published 1985

by Bjorn Wittrock, Peter DeLeon


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.2 MB

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


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback31 pages $20.00

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 paper series. The paper was a product of RAND 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.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND 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.