Policy Regimes and Policy Making

  • Ivar Bleiklie
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 13)

The analysis of higher education policy change in this chapter seeks to combine two perspectives. A number of theoretical approaches to the study of public policy share a common and popular assumption: policy change is the outcome of changing preferences among political actors. According to such an actor’s perspective, policy change is the outcome of changing preferences in actors or changing power constellations between actors with different preferences (Ostrom 1990). Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith (1993) advocate another version of an actor’s perspective and emphasise that policy change is normally caused by external system events such as changes in economic and political conditions that affect actors’ belief systems. An alternative to an actor’s perspective is a structural perspective that emphasises how underlying norms and values shape policy change. This perspective explains policy change as an outcome of shifting values or constellations of values (Skocpol 1992; March and Olsen 1989). Such shifts may in turn be caused either by the internal dynamics of and problems within political institutions or by external events that causes internal disruptions.


High Education Policy Regime High Education System Policy Design High Education Policy 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivar Bleiklie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BergenNorway

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