This major book provides an up-to-date and state-of-the-art overview of the contemporary theory and practice of the most central concept in political science: power. The concept of political power is introduced within a three-part framework: contemporary theories of power; applications of power processes and practices; and the implications of modern power flows across the globe today. The book explores the many structures of power in the contemporary world from theories of its construction and use, to its operation in policy networks, and its wider exercise at different levels in the political process, from the local to the global. Amongst the many themes explored are the reproduction and
Chapter 4: Power and Policy Networks
Power and Policy Networks
This chapter is about the limited use of power in policy network approaches. In public administration science, policy networks are defined as ‘more or less stable patterns of social relations between interdependent actors, which take shape around policy problems and/or policy programmes’ (Kickert et al., 1997: 6). Characteristic for policy network analysis is its focus on the improvement of policy-making by concentrating on governance and management within constructed policy networks. The goal is to find solutions for policy problems by changing relations of interactions, by formulating new definitions of problems and by introducing new policy instruments. In general, policy network analyses embody attempts to understand and to explain new ways of governance in the context ...