By Catherine Hobbs
Why does public policy go wrong? How can researchers who are systems thinkers begin to create the conditions in which those involved in public policy may flourish within their possible spheres of ‘horizontal’ influence?
The public policy context and why it goes wrong
Jake Chapman’s System Failure: Why Governments Must Learn to Think Differently (2002; 2004) remains a much-quoted report. In his second (2004) edition, however, Chapman reflects that, despite an enthusiastic reception, there had been “very little substantive shift in either policy or management styles within government” (2004: p.10). Chapman identified a number of difficulties, including: