In Chapter 2 we argued that a public policy is intended to solve a certain social problem that has reached the institutional agenda. As a rule, the problem that initiated the policy-making process can only be solved effectively if the adopted policy is properly put into practice. If a given policy is introduced but insufficiently implemented, it is possible that the ultimate result will be even less desirable than the previous state. Implementation research has demonstrated that it is anything but a straightforward task to put public policies into practice. In this chapter, the central focus is on what has been called ‘post-decisional’ politics (Jordan 1997). We will approach the implementation of public policy from different analytical angles, including a clarification of which actors implement public policy and a presentation of the major theoretical perspectives on implementation activities. We then propose categories for assessing the degree to which a policy can be implemented effectively and identify factors that might hamper or facilitate implementation.
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