What can feminist theory offer policy implementation challenges?
Implementation has long been a vexed issue in the mainstream public policy literature. The literature has remained more concerned with the design of policy and evidence of its impact than on the process by which it plays out. While implementation is often portrayed as a simple process of adopting best practice, experiences indicate that it is a far more complex process involving a range of actors translating policy into practice under varying conditions. Substantial changes to public service environments over the past few decades, both incremental and disruptive, have compounded this complexity. Commentators argue that it is time to look beyond current ‘best practice’ for new conceptual tools to tackle implementation challenges, particularly relating to those that take place around the many boundaries of public services (Dickinson and Sullivan, 2014a). In this paper we consider how post-structural feminist perspectives, with scope to actively challenge orthodoxies and embrace diversity and competing views, might further contemporary policy implementation research and practice.
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