What explains the choice of policy instruments used by policy-makers?

Political Science

Policy Formulation and Public Policy Decision-Making*
As discussed earlier in the module, different contributors have presented different versions of the stages approach or policy cycle. These two stages are closely related and sometimes treated as one. They are concerned with the options generated in trying to resolved problems recognized at the agenda-setting stage and the process of deciding on a particular course of action.

Key questions
What policy instruments are available to decision-makers? What determines the choice of instruments?
How do agenda-setting and formulation shape the decision-making process? What actors are involved in decision-making? To what extent is it possible for policy-makers to make rational decisions?

Key readings
*For this seminar we will focus on two complementary chapters by Howlett et al (2009). Due to legal restrictions only one can be digitized, so please make early arrangements to secure a copy of the second.
Policy formulation
Howlett, M., Ramesh, M. and Perl, A. (2009) Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, 3rd edition, Chapter 5 ‘Policy Formulation: Policy Instruments and Policy Change’
Public policy decision-making
Howlett, M., Ramesh, M. and Perl, A. (2009) Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, 3rd edition, Chapter 6 ‘Public Policy Decision-Making’.

Other readings
Public policy decision-making
Cairney, P. (2011) Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues Palgrave, Ch. 5 Rationality and Incrementalism
Cohen, M.D., J.G. March, and J.P. Olsen (1972). ‘A Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 17:1, 1–25.
Forester, J. (1984) ‘Bounded Rationality and the Politics of Muddling Through’, Public Administration Review, 44: 23-30.
Knill, C and Tosun, J. (2012) Public Policy: A New Introduction Paperback Ch. 6 Decision-making.
Lindblom, C. (1959) ‘The Science of Muddling Through’, Public Administration Review 19, 79-88.
Marsden, G., Ferreira, A., Bache, I., Bartle, I., and Flinders, M. (2014) ‘Muddling through with climate change targets: a multi-level governance perspective on the transport sector’, Climate Policy, Published online 23 April 2014, 10.1080/14693062.2014.905823* (see tutor for copy)
Simon, H. 1953. ‘A Behavioural Model of Rational Choice’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 69, 1: 99-118.
Teisman, G. 2000 ‘Models for Research into Decision-Making Processes: On Phases, Streams and Decision-Making Rounds’, Public Administration 78, 937-56.
Policy instruments
Bache, I. (2010) ‘Partnership as an EU Policy Instrument: A Political History‘, West European Politics, Vol. 33, No. 1, 58-74.
Jordan, A., Rudiger, K. and Zito, A. (2005) The Rise of ‘New’ Policy Instruments in Comparative Perspective: Has Governance Eclipsed Government? Political Studies, Volume 53, Issue 3, pages 477–496, October 2005.
Hood, C. (1986). The Tools of Government. Chatham: Chatham House.
Hood, C., and H. Margetts (2007). The Tools of Government in the Digital Age. London: Palgrave Macmillan.