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Policy instrument affordances : A framework for analysis

Hellström, Tomas LU and Jacob, Merle LU (2017) In Policy Studies 38(6). p.604-621
Abstract
The present study uses the concept of technological efficacy derived from ecological psychology and design studies to offer an alternative way of analyzing how policy instruments affect change. Reasoning from this, the paper outlines a framework for analyzing policy instruments in terms of their affordances. We define affordances as the means through which an instrument exerts influence on its intended target audience. Using this approach, we contend that policy instruments may be analyzed as interfaces that organize social relations and create structures of opportunity and/or restrict possibilities for action. We argue that explicating the pathways through which instruments afford or constrain action is a central task for policy analysis.... (More)
The present study uses the concept of technological efficacy derived from ecological psychology and design studies to offer an alternative way of analyzing how policy instruments affect change. Reasoning from this, the paper outlines a framework for analyzing policy instruments in terms of their affordances. We define affordances as the means through which an instrument exerts influence on its intended target audience. Using this approach, we contend that policy instruments may be analyzed as interfaces that organize social relations and create structures of opportunity and/or restrict possibilities for action. We argue that explicating the pathways through which instruments afford or constrain action is a central task for policy analysis. Our proposed framework of analysis builds on the idea that instruments yield effects by facilitating action and learning. We further contend that the actions that an instrument can facilitate or inhibit are determined by specific affordance modalities of the instrument in conjunction with contingencies of the actor and the policy environment. Examples from research policy are used to illustrate some of these effects. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Policy instruments, affordances, policy analysis, policy process, policy design
in
Policy Studies
volume
38
issue
6
pages
604 - 621
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85032577676
  • wos:000415736600005
ISSN
0144-2872
DOI
10.1080/01442872.2017.1386442
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ae0f2486-8fdf-4168-ad71-878c31fbbbcd
date added to LUP
2017-10-27 10:52:41
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:24:37
@article{ae0f2486-8fdf-4168-ad71-878c31fbbbcd,
  abstract     = {The present study uses the concept of technological efficacy derived from ecological psychology and design studies to offer an alternative way of analyzing how policy instruments affect change. Reasoning from this, the paper outlines a framework for analyzing policy instruments in terms of their affordances. We define affordances as the means through which an instrument exerts influence on its intended target audience. Using this approach, we contend that policy instruments may be analyzed as interfaces that organize social relations and create structures of opportunity and/or restrict possibilities for action. We argue that explicating the pathways through which instruments afford or constrain action is a central task for policy analysis. Our proposed framework of analysis builds on the idea that instruments yield effects by facilitating action and learning. We further contend that the actions that an instrument can facilitate or inhibit are determined by specific affordance modalities of the instrument in conjunction with contingencies of the actor and the policy environment. Examples from research policy are used to illustrate some of these effects.},
  author       = {Hellström, Tomas and Jacob, Merle},
  issn         = {0144-2872},
  keyword      = {Policy instruments,affordances,policy analysis,policy process,policy design},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {604--621},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Policy Studies},
  title        = {Policy instrument affordances : A framework for analysis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01442872.2017.1386442},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2017},
}