Policy & Politics
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Clouds, clocks and policy dynamics: a path-(inter)dependent analysis of EU cohesion policy

Author: Carlos Mendez1
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  • 1 European Policies Research Centre, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Strathclyde, UK
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Recognising the limitations of existing conceptualisations of path dependence, this article advances a ‘path-interdependent’ approach to account for endogenous policy change by incorporating a more central role for agency through learning and problem-solving mechanisms. Additionally, it argues that monolithic conceptualisations of institutions should be unpacked to reveal their configurative elements. In doing so, attention is drawn to the way in which intra-policy dynamics may generate pressures for change and to the possibility for the mutual existence and co-evolution of continuity and change. These arguments are illustrated empirically through two cases of radical reform in European Union (EU) cohesion policy.

  • 1 European Policies Research Centre, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Strathclyde, UK

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