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

Mendez, Carlos (2012) Clouds, clocks and policy dynamics : a path-(inter)dependent analysis of EU cohesion policy. Policy and Politics, 40 (2). pp. 153-170. ISSN 0305-5736

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Abstract

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.