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It's about time: policy time

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This article evaluates time perception in public policy by developing and characterising the concept of 'policy time'. Research in time-related public policy literature portrays two main trends: (1) the pragmatic trend - short-term policy based on a pre-determined schedule as opposed to response-oriented policy; and (2) the normative trend - long-term policy inspired by 'the voice of the future' and/or by 'public interest values' and/or by 'avoiding uncertainty'. This article offers a different approach to policy time management: instead of dealing with long-term policy vs. short-term policy it suggests juxtaposing 'tactical policy time' and 'strategic policy time'. Tactical policy time is defined as 'taking a specific time-related plan or action aimed at achieving a defined policy result'. Strategic policy time is defined as 'taking a specific time-related plan or action with the aim of coping better with uncertainty in the future'. The concepts of tactical policy time and strategic policy time allow us to characterise 'policy time' as 'time-related planning or action aiming to achieve a defined policy result and/or to cope better with an uncertain future. The application of these concepts is investigated in the context of centre-periphery relations.
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Keywords: Judea-Samaria district; centre-periphery relations; policy time; social policy; strategic policy time; tactical policy time

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology and School of Mass Communication, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Israel,Samaria and Jordan Valley Regional R&D Center, Israel

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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