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Full day

Madeleine Pill(University of Sheffield)
Policy capacity at the local level: theory and practice
The local (‘urban’ or municipal) level is often lauded as an effective scale for intervention and space for action in tackling public policy challenges. In this lecture, we will examine local policy capacity via a range of critical perspectives informed by broader debates regarding local autonomy and collaborative forms of local governance. Drawing from a variety of empirical studies, we will consider ways in which the local ‘everyday’ state (comprising state and non-state actors) can create and is constrained in formulating and implementing localist policies.
Mike Howlett(Simon Fraser University)
Policy Capacity: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Policy Competences and Capabilities
Although policy capacity is among the most fundamental concepts in public policy, few systematic efforts try to operationalize and measure it. This talk presents a conceptual framework for analysing and measuring policy capacity by examining the competencies and capabilities important to policy-making and how they come together to define 'capacity'. Competences are categorized into three general types of skills essential for policy success—analytical, operational and political—while policy capabilities are assessed at the individual, organizational and system resource levels. The literature and sources of each combination of competences and capabilities are set out along with a discussion of the problems that can result from imbalanced attention to these nine different components of policy capacity. Discussion of the strategies able to overcome any gaps in professional behaviour, organizational and managerial activities, and the policy systems involved in policymaking are also outlined.
Carsten Daugbjerg (Copenhagen University)
Generating policy capacity through collaboration with interest groups: advantages and pitfalls
While the policy capacity literature acknowledges that collaboration with interest groups can contribute to generate policy capacity, its focus has tended to be state-centric. Earlier literature on corporatism and policy networks put emphasis on the resources that interest groups could bring into the policy design and implementation process to generate policy capacity. This session will consider the role of interest groups in the generation of policy capacity by drawing on the earlier literature as well as work on collaborative governance. In such an endeavour, it is important also to pay attention to the pitfalls in government relations with interest groups as these in some circumstances can undermine policy capacity.
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