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The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development$
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William D. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781503604612

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503604612.001.0001

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Policy Innovations Can Relax Political Constraints

Policy Innovations Can Relax Political Constraints

(p.169) 6 Policy Innovations Can Relax Political Constraints
The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development

William D. Ferguson

Stanford University Press

Development requires institutional change. This chapter suggests a ray of hope. Policy innovations, according to hypothesis 5, can enhance capacities for resolving CAPs, relaxing political impediments to development—notably, CAPs from hypotheses 3 and 4. South Korea’s 1950s land reform policy established foundations for subsequent development. Innovations, however, emerge and spread within political contexts; institutional change presents formidable CAPs. Distinct individual as opposed to organizational capacities for information processing, combined with asymmetric distributions of power, typically generate relatively long periods of institutional and policy stability that occasionally succumb to rapid change: punctuated equilibria. Within such contexts, coalitions vie for influence, using policy narratives and images (mini ideologies) to legitimate their influence and discredit opponents.

Keywords:   innovation, policy, policy domains, subsystems, advocacy coalitions, punctuated equilibrium, policy emergence

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