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Integrated policy approaches and policy failure: the case of Australia’s Oceans Policy


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Vince, J 2015 , 'Integrated policy approaches and policy failure: the case of Australia’s Oceans Policy' , Policy Sciences , doi: 10.1007/s11077-015-9215-z.

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Governments have struggled to successfully implement large-scale integrated
policy approaches, often resulting in policy failure. However, there has been little investigation
into why this is the case. This paper links the discourse on policy failure and
integrated policy approaches and identifies what aspects of ‘integration’ cause failure. It
argues that programme failure occurs in integrated policy approaches when there are
unachievable goals or timelines, poor policy design and/or when the incorrect types of
processes are selected. Policy process failure is particularly evident in an integrated policy’s
implementation where multi-sector and multi-level issues arise, whereas failure in the
politics of integrated approaches is found in political gain and blame avoidance of key
decision-makers. This framework is then applied to Australia’s Oceans Policy demonstrating
that it was unable to achieve its original objectives; the layering process of new
policy and institutions on established silos was ineffective; and the new institutions did not
have the integrative capacity required for successful implementation. The Australian experience
reveals that an institutional model that can deal with multiple issues, jurisdictions
and sectors holistically is essential if integrative capacity is to be achieved.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Vince, J
Keywords: Integration, Policy failure, Integrative capacity, Oceans governance, Australia’s Oceans Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Policy Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1573-0891
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s11077-015-9215-z
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 Springer Science+Business Media

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