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Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Implementation Research: a Critical Analysis and Suggested Synthesis

  • Paul A. Sabatier (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This paper first reviews the implementation literature of the past fifteen years, with particular emphasis on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches. It also argues that the 4–6 year time-frame used in most implementation research misses many critical features of public policy-making. The paper then outlines a conceptual framework for examining policy change over a 10–20 year period which combines the best features of the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches with insights from other literatures.

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Rachelle Alterman (1983). ‘Implementation Analysis: The Contours of an Emerging Debate,’ Journal of Planning Education and Research 3 (Summer): 63–5.

Susan Barrett and Michael Hill (1984). ‘Policy, Bargaining and Structure in Implementation Theory,’ Policy and Politics 12: 219–40.

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Paul Sabatier (1983b). Can Regulation Work? The Implementation of the 1972 California Coastal Initiative. N.Y.: Plenum.

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Journal of Public Policy
  • ISSN: 0143-814X
  • EISSN: 1469-7815
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-public-policy
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