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Policy, Bargaining and Structure in Implementation Theory: Towards an Integrated Perspective

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This theoretical and conceptual article expounds an approach to the study of implementation which sees it as an integral part of the policy process rather than an administrative ‘follow on’ from policy making. It therefore argues for the need to work with a stance on the concept of policy which sees it as complex and ambiguous, and the need to recognise the importance of the policy-action continuum. From that position it goes on to emphasise the importance of negotiation and bargaining in implementation, and to stress the significance of the relationship between policy content and policy context. It argues for, therefore, the development of the kind of approach to that relationship developed in work by Knoepfel and Weidner which is seen as opening up a way to handle questions of interest conflict and to relate implementation to the wider social and political structure.

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