Policy Analysis

Policy analysis provides a tool with which to analyse the construction, formulation, implementation, evaluation, and reconstruction of policies and their frameworks. Policy analysis in a decision-making process in which conflicting interests are at stake may be difficult if such an analysis is made during a decision-making process in a ‘network’ (or ‘policy network’) (de Bruijn & ten Heuvelhof, 2002). The parties involved have conflicting interests and are interdependent; no party is able to impose its will hierarchically upon the other parties. Conflicting interests are a strong incentive for the parties involved to criticize the outcome of the analysis if it fails to meet their interests. The many empirical studies in this area give a picture of unpredictable and, sometimes chaotic decision-making environment (de Bruijn & ten Heuvelhof, 2000). This is because the stakeholders in a network hold different views about the nature and the seriousness of a problem, about the aims pursued, about the authority of the information available and about the need to make a decision.


De Bruijn, J. & ten Heuvelhof, F., 2000. Networks and Decision Making. Lemma, Utrecht.

De Bruijn, H. & ten Heuvelhof, E., 2002. Policy analysis and decision making in a network: how to improve the quality of analysis and the impact on decision making. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 20(4), p.232–242.

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