Policy Instruments and Policy Design Choices

Selecting Substantive and Procedural Tools in Public Policymaking

Authored by: Michael Howlett

Routledge Handbook of Policy Design

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9780815369189
eBook ISBN: 9781351252928
Adobe ISBN:


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The design approach has developed into a fully fledged field of policy studies with its own concerns for accurately classifying and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of different tools, both when used singly and in combination. This approach now focuses both upon traditional ‘substantive’ tools of policymaking, such as regulation and public ownership, and also upon ‘procedural’ tools linked to the design and implementation of public participation, other activities linked to both goods and service delivery—such as the design of advisory committees to regulatory agencies—and to policy processes more generally—such as the design of public hearings, websites, judicial review processes and others, as well as upon how they are mixed together in policy bundles or portfolios. This chapter looks at both kinds of tools and how they can be combined, drawing lessons for practitioners from the work of scholars on these subjects over the past several decades.

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