Pulzl 2010 Implementing Public Policy Book review

Title Implementing Public Policy by Hill and Hupe: a Book Review
Format Book Review
Authors Pülzl, H., Treib, O.
Journal Name (if applicable) N/A
Date Published 2010
Open Access Y/N Yes
Hard copy PDF Available Y/N Yes
Link https://www.u-cursos.cl/ingenieria/2010/2/IN69E/12/material_docente/previsualizar?id_material=309559
Abstract Implementation studies are to be found at the intersection of public administration, organizational theory, public management research, and political science studies (Schofield and Sausman 2004, 235). In the broadest sense, they can be characterized as studies of policy change (Jenkins 1978, 203). Goggin and his colleagues (1990) identified three generations of implementation research. Implementation studies emerged in the 1970s within the United States, as a reaction to growing concerns over the effectiveness of wide-ranging reform programs. Until the end of the 1960s, it had been taken for granted that political mandates were clear, and administrators were thought to implement policies according to the intentions of decision makers (Hill and Hupe 2002, 42). The process of "translating policy into action" (Barrett 2004, 251) attracted more attention, as policies seemed to lag behind policy expectations. The first generation of implementation studies, which dominated much of the 1970s, was characterized by a pessimistic undertone. This pessimism was fuelled by a number of case studies that represented shining examples of implementation failure. The studies of Derthick (1972), Pressman and Wildavsky (1973), and Bardach (1977) are the most popular. Pressman and Wildavsky's work (1973) had a decisive impact on the development of implementation research, as it helped to stimulate a growing body of literature. This does not mean, however, that no implementation studies were carried out before, as Hargrove (1975) suggested when writing about the discovery of a "missing link" in studying the policy process. Hill and Hupe (2002, 18­28) point out that implementation research was conducted under different headings before the 1970s. Nevertheless, the most noteworthy achievement of the first generation of implementation researchers was to raise awareness of the issue in the wider scholarly community and in the general public. While theory building was not at the heart of the first generation of implementation studies, the second generation began to put forward a whole range of theoretical frameworks and hypotheses. This period was marked by debates between what was later dubbed the top-down and bottom-up approaches to implementation research. The top-down school, represented for example by scholars like Van Meter and Van Horn (1975), Nakamura and Smallwood (1980) or Mazmanian and Sabatier (1983), conceived of implementation as the hierarchical execution of centrally-defined policy intentions. Scholars belonging to the bottom-up camp, such as Lipsky (1971, 1980), Ingram (1977), Elmore (1980), or Hjern and Hull (1982) instead emphasized that implementation consisted of the everyday problem-solving strategies of "street-level bureaucrats" (Lipsky 1980). The third generation of implementation research tried to bridge the gap between top-down and bottom-up approaches by incorporating the insights of both camps into their theoretical models. At the same time, the self-proclaimed goal of third-generation research was "to be more scientific than the previous two in its approach to the study of implementation" (Goggin et al. 1990, 18, emphasis in original). Third-generation scholars thus lay much emphasis on specifying clear hypotheses,