The dynamics of policy-making. What the Multiple Streams Approach can tell us about time and entrepreneurship.
(Friedbert W. Rüb)
The dynamics of the policy-making processes are of utmost importance. They concern three dimensions: First, in which historical time are policies made? Are policies in a highly complex, a highly contingent and a highly dynamic globalized world goal- and future oriented decisions or time oriented reactions which try to keep pace with speed of social and economic dynamics? Secondly, have policy-makers enough time to make deliberate, evidence-based and rational policies or are the democratic logics of the institutional and/or political structures too time-consuming? And thirdly, which impact have policy entrepreneurs to bringing about agenda-setting and decision-making? Multiple Streams started to theorize time and entrepreneurship within the US presidential system and is now expanded to parliamentary regimes and even to the European and/or the transnational/global level. Is Multiple Streams on the way to a general theory of policy-making and thus ready for comparative analysis? Which refinements should be done to transform it to a general theory? The paper is designed to making a theoretical and conceptional contribution to some of the main questions of comparative policy analysis using and refining Multiple Streams.