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The Political Formulation of Policy Solutions: Arguments, Arenas and Coalitions (2021)

(Publisher : Bristol University Press)

Author(s) : Philippe Zittoun, Frank Fischer and Nikolaos Zahariadis

“This book offers a useful and original contribution to current debates in policy analysis by highlighting the fundamental role of policy formulation in the political process and seeking to fill gaps in its study.” Hubert Heinelt, Technical University of Darmstadt


In this volume an international group of public policy scholars revisit and analyze the policy formulation stage of the policy process, with a particular focus on policy solutions.  Drawing on a selection of international case studies, the book explores how policymakers craft their policy proposals, attach them to public problems, debate their feasibility in an effort to build coalitions that can help to advance their policy solutions.


In this book, an international group of public policy scholars revisits the stage of formulating policy solutions by investigating the basic political dimensions inherent to this critical phase of the policy process. The book focuses attention on how policymakers craft their policy proposals, match them with public problems, debate their feasibility to build coalitions and dispute their acceptability as serious contenders for government consideration. Based on international case studies, this book is an invitation to examine the uncertain and often indeterminate aspects of policy-making using qualitative analysis embedded in a political perspective.

Table of contents

1. Introduction - Policy Formulation: A Political Perspective – Phillipe Zittoun, Frank Fischer and Nikolaos Zahariadis

2. Upcycling a Trashed Policy Solution? Argumentative Couplings for Solution Definition and Deconstruction in German Pension Policy – Sonja Blum

3. Binding and Unbinding Problem-Solution Associations in US Agricultural Policy Making: the Introduction and Demise of Direct Payments to Farmers – Gerry Alons

4. The Role of Expert Reporting in Binding Together Policy Problem and Solution Definition Processes – Magalie Bourblanc, Gabrielle Bouleau, Philippe Deuffic

5. Coalitions and Values in the Flow of Policy Solutions – Nikolaos Zahariadis

6. The Marks of Ownership: The Promotion of Carbon Capture and Storage in France – Sebastien Chailleux

7. Anticipating Public Approval in the Binding of Immigrant Integration Problems and Solutions – Van Breugel

8. Discourse Coalitions and the Messiness of Policy Solutions: College Governance in Nevada – Magdalena Martinez

9. Policy Solution Ownership: Road Space Re-allocation as New Approach to Urban Mobility – Charlotte Halpern


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