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Robust, resilient, agile and improvisatory styles in policymaking: the social organisation of anomaly, risk and policy decay

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  • 1 Queen Mary University of London, , UK
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This theory development article employs neo-Durkheimian institutional theory to present a fresh understanding of policy styles in the policy process. Calls for resilient, robust, agile and improvisatory policymaking are not readily compatible with each other. Each of these styles carries risks and each generates anomalies. Each tends to decay over time. Governments should therefore expect risks of inconsistency and decay in policymaking shaped by these styles. The article argues that these styles, and their risks and tensions, and the trajectories of their decay all arise from the contrasting forms of informal social organisation among policymakers in which they are cultivated. These forms of social organisation give rise to distinct types of bounded rationality, which shape decision-making differently in each ordering.

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  • 1 Queen Mary University of London, , UK

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