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Clouds, clocks and policy dynamics: a path-(inter)dependent analysis of EU cohesion policy

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Abstract:

Recognising the limitations of existing conceptualisations of path dependence, this article advances a 'path-interdependent' approach to account for endogenous policy change by incorporating a more central role for agency through learning and problem-solving mechanisms. Additionally, it argues that monolithic conceptualisations of institutions should be unpacked to reveal their configurative elements. In doing so, attention is drawn to the way in which intra-policy dynamics may generate pressures for change and to the possibility for the mutual existence and co-evolution of continuity and change. These arguments are illustrated empirically through two cases of radical reform in European Union (EU) cohesion policy.

Keywords: COHESION POLICY; EUROPEAN UNION; HISTORICAL INSTITUTIONALISM; PATH DEPENDENCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/030557311X560680

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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UA-1313315-21
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