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Policy and power: A conceptual framework between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ policy idioms


  • Bas Arts
  • Jan Tatenhove


During the last few decades, both policy practices and policy idioms have drastically changed. Concepts such as interactive planning, network management, stakeholder dialogue, deliberative democracy, policy discourses, governance, etc. have replaced older ones such as public administration, policy programmes, interest groups, institutions, power, and the like. Although we recognise the relevance and importance of this shift in vocabulary, we also regret related ‘losses’. We particularly regret that the concept of power has – in our view – become an ‘endangered species’ in the field of public policy analysis. We therefore will develop a framework to analyse power – being a multi-layered concept – in policy practices in this article. We will do so on the basis of the so-called policy arrangement approach, which combines elements of the old and new policy vocabularies. In addition, we draw upon different power theories in developing our argument and model. As a result, we hope to combine the best of two worlds, of the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ idioms in policy studies, and to achieve our two aims: to bring back in the concept of power in current policy analysis and to expand the policy arrangement approach from a power perspective. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Bas Arts & Jan Tatenhove, 2004. "Policy and power: A conceptual framework between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ policy idioms," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 37(3), pages 339-356, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:37:y:2004:i:3:p:339-356
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-005-0156-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guzzini, Stefano, 1993. "Structural power: the limits of neorealist power analysis," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(03), pages 443-478, June.
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    2. Charles McClintock & Staci Lowe, 2007. "And the question is? Knowledge growth in welfare policy research," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(1), pages 35-54, March.
    3. de Vos, B.I. & Döring, R. & Aranda, M. & Buisman, F.C. & Frangoudes, K. & Goti, L. & Macher, C. & Maravelias, C.D. & Murillas-Maza, A. & van der Valk, O. & Vasilakopoulos, P., 2016. "New modes of fisheries governance: Implementation of the landing obligation in four European countries," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-8.
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    18. Kuzdas, Christopher & Wiek, Arnim & Warner, Benjamin & Vignola, Raffaele & Morataya, Ricardo, 2015. "Integrated and Participatory Analysis of Water Governance Regimes: The Case of the Costa Rican Dry Tropics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 254-268.
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