University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageSpanish
Number of pages138
Pages (from-to)115
JournalRevista del CLAD Reforma y Democracia
Journal publication date2018
Volume72
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Abstract

The theoretical debate on policy change has been consolidated since the
early 90s. However, the different approaches on the subject have evolved
separately, there was no communication between them. This has limited
the progress in the policy change definition, making it difficult to analyse
it empirically and measure it. Therefore, to address the analysis of the
process of change of one specific policy, it is important to consider first:
What is “policy change” according to the main theoretical approaches on this
subject? Is it possible to distinguish different dimensions to operationalize the
empirical analysis of the processes of change in policy? What is appropriate
to measure in each dimension of change? What questions and indicators are
advisable for the analysis of each dimension? Can the same questions and
indicators be used to measure the change processes of different policies, to
allow comparisons and feedback between empirical research?
In order to answer these questions, a research that review of the main
theoretical approaches on policy change was carried out, concluding
that “policy change” is a complex concept. While there are much research
focused on policy change, not all of them explain in detail what this concept
means from their perspective. Therefore, it is interesting to focus on the
dimensions of policy change and reflect how to measure them. The research
also concludes that the process of policy change can include the following
dimensions: changes in the discourses and theories in use, changes in
attitudes, changes in procedures, changes in the policy content, changes
in behaviour and changes in the policies recipients. Each one of these
dimensions can be analysed through different questions and indicators.
This article presents a summary of this part of the research with examples
based on the analysis of a specific policy, making concrete and operative
proposals for empirical research. These reflections and proposals on how
to measure policy change can be useful for research focused on change in
any area of public action.

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