From anticipatory strategies to reactive blame games in multi-level settings: the role of structure and politics in stability and policy change - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Public Policy Year : 2022

From anticipatory strategies to reactive blame games in multi-level settings: the role of structure and politics in stability and policy change

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Abstract

Studies of multi-level blame avoidance strategies generally assume that (1) governments prefer to shift responsibility to other levels and (2) an unclear distribution of formal responsibilities complicates blame allocation to a single actor. Considering the temporal location of such strategiesin anticipation or as a reaction to adverse eventsthe article tests these assumptions. Drawing on the case of air quality policy in Mexico City, the article uses causal process tracing to develop the mechanism leading to an anticipatory strategy and its unfolding. If the distribution of responsibilities on connected policy instruments is clear and major political actors share power, then government levels from different parties engage in a joint anticipatory strategy to avoid crisis and keep stability. The mechanism breakdown leads to reactive behaviour and policy change. Contextual changes redistributing power can destabilise the arrangements, leading to reactive blame games, fostering policy change.
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Dates and versions

hal-03813196 , version 1 (13-10-2022)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Roberto Rodríguez. From anticipatory strategies to reactive blame games in multi-level settings: the role of structure and politics in stability and policy change. Journal of Public Policy, 2022, pp.1-25. ⟨10.1017/s0143814x22000198⟩. ⟨hal-03813196⟩
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