The Punctuated equilibrium approaches

Punctuated equilibrium theory (PET) seeks to explain simple observation: Political processes are often driven by a logic of stability and incrementalism, but occasionally they produce large-scale departures from the past. In this introduction to punctuated equilibrium we an overview of the approach, and discuss how it has evolved. Then we examine some of the major critiques leveled against it, and some of the new work inspired by the approach. Finally, we review some of that recent work which has grown from PET and examine how it fits into the larger examination of dynamics in policy studies.


Punctuated equilibrium theory (PET) seeks to explain simple observation: Political processes are often driven by a logic of stability and incrementalism, but occasionally they produce large-scale departures from the past. In this introduction to punctuated equilibrium we an overview of the approach, and discuss how it has evolved. Then we examine some of the major critiques leveled against it, and some of the new work inspired by the approach. Finally, we review some of that recent work which has grown from PET and examine how it fits into the larger examination of dynamics in policy studies.

 

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