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Scarecrows and Decoys. Why Suppose Political-Administrative Hierarchy?

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Carlsson, Lars
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4185
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): hierarchy
Abstract: "A great number of people are eager to describe modern western societies as mixed economies, as multi-actor-societies with fuzzy borders between public and private organizations and institutions. In this article it is argued that if we aim at understanding the processes of policy making, we have to start our investigations from a point of departure where we do not unreflectively assume that political administrative hierarchy is prevailing. We have to take our own descriptions seriously. The relevance of formal political institutions has to be proved, not taken for granted. It is also argued that despite the fact that no one admits that he or she has adopted a naive 'stage-model' of the policy making process, this image of the process is still vigorous in the minds of a great number of researchers dealing with policy analysis. These circumstances can be explained not only by the history of political science, with its focus on formal institutions, but also by the fact that hierarchy is a human way of simplifying a complex environment. Finally the Implementation Structure Approach is suggested as a methodological device for resisting this hierarchic temptation."

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