It is generally accepted that policy tools and instruments exist at all stages of the policy process (Howlett 2011, p. 22). But as was pointed out in Chapter 1, only some tools and instruments, operating at certain policy stages, have garnered the sustained analytical attention of policy researchers. Policy formulation – a very important but imperfectly understood stage – has certainly been targeted by developers of new tools, ranging from foresight and scenario tools that seek to open up problem framings and conceptualizations, through to tools like cost–benefit analysis (CBA) that seek to recommend preferred policy solutions. Tool developers and policy analysts have also made many normative recommendations on how these and other policy formulation tools should be used (Vining and Weimer 2010; Dunn 2004). But as was made clear in Chapter 1, mainstream policy researchers have largely ignored policy formulation tools, meaning that a lot less is known about how they have actually been utilized in practice. As Howlett et al. (Chapter 8) suggest, policy researchers have long suspected that they probably play some role in structuring policymaking activity, but what that function is remains a largely unexplored research topic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Tools of Policy Formulation
Subtitle of host publicationActors, Capacities, Venues and Effects
EditorsAndrew Jordan, John Turnpenny
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781783477043
ISBN (Print)9781783477036
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2015

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