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Learning to depart from a policy path: institutional change and the reform of German labour market policy

Fleckenstein, Timo (2013) Learning to depart from a policy path: institutional change and the reform of German labour market policy. Government and Opposition, 48 (1). pp. 55-79. ISSN 0017-257X

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Abstract

While new institutionalism with its path-dependence theory has proved to be an especially powerful device for explaining the stability and inertia of public policies, its focus on the stickiness of institutions has contributed to conceptual deficits in grasping and explaining actually occurring policy change which have attracted much criticism. With reference to the critical case of German labour market reforms, policy learning is identified as a key mechanism in the paradigmatic transformation of social policy. Pursuing the argument that learning does not happen in a vacuum and is institutionally embedded, policy learning is conceptually enriched with insights from new institutionalism to develop an institutional account of learning. Such an approach to policy learning and a stronger emphasis on ideas address the stability bias in new institutionalism and its path-dependence theory by accounting for knowledge-based institutional change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2012 Government and Opposition Ltd
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2012 11:52
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47421/

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