Contextualizing Policy: Understanding Implementation under Socio-technical Transitions

Claus Hedegaard Sørensen and Alexander Paulsson, International Journal of Public Administration, September 2019

Over the past 40 years, implementation of public policy has been developed into a mature but heterogenous field of research. Despite much attention paid to the context in which implementation occurs, studies thus far has only to a limited extent been concerned with how major socio-technological transitions affect the conditions for implementing policy. As societies experience major socio-technological transitions that radically change our ways of living and working, these changes also affect the implementation process. But how? This paper explores how theories of socio-technological changes can be drawn upon to add layers of explanations to a canonized model of integrated implementation. Recent technological developments in the transport sector are applied to this discussion to illustrate the usefulness of the suggested layered approach. The paper concludes by suggesting how the integrated implementation model and implementation theory can be combined.

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