Policy Network Analysis (PNA)

The Policy Network Analysis (PNA) school has developed a series of micro-level analyses. These analytical frameworks have been used to develop a series of hypotheses about how policy-making outcomes are influenced by the structure of a network and the interactions that occur within a network, including the inclusion and exclusion of certain interests in the policy-making process (Rhodes, 2006). PNA starts with the assumption that - to achieve particular goals - actors within policy networks must exchange resources with each other (Rhodes, 2006). The power-dependent relationships that emerge from this set of interactions define, which actors will become core members of a network; which actors will be positioned in this network with occasional, albeit typically limited, influence; and which actors will be completely excluded from the network (Rhodes, 2006; Hamza, 2013).

Both, network governance school and policy network analysis mainly focus on network governance, however, they look at it on distinct levels. PNA is more concerned with micro-level examinations about the relationships among policy-making outcomes, the structure of a network and the inclusion or exclusion of certain individuals or groups from the network in question (Fawcett & Daugbjerg, 2012). Network governance school has been engaged in a set of macro-level examinations of the changing nature of state-society relationships (Hay & Richards, 2000).

Related terms: Network, Network Governance School (NWG), Network Theory, Networked Governance, Policy Analysis, Policy Governance, Policy Model, Policy Modelling, Public Governance, Public Participation, Public Policy, Social Network, Social Network Analysis


Fawcett, P. & Daugbjerg, C., 2012. Explaining Governance Outcomes: Epistemology, Network Governance and Policy Network Analysis. Political Studies Review, 10(2), p.195–208.

Hamza, K., 2013. The Impact of Social Media and Network Governance on State Stability in Time of Turbulences: Egypt After 2011 Revolution. PhD Thesis. Brussels: Vrije Universiteit Brussel Institute for European Studies.

Hay, C. & Richards, D., 2000. The Tangled Webs of Westminster and Whitehall:The Discourse, Strategy and Practice of Networking within the British Core Executive. Public Administration, 78(1), p.167–76.

Rhodes, R.A.W., 2006. Policy network analysis. In M. Moran, M. Rein & R. Goodin, eds. The oxford handbook of public policy. New York: Oxford University Press. p.425–447.

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