Clouds, Clocks and Policy Dynamics: A Path (Inter)Dependent Analysis of EU Cohesion Policy

Cite as: Mendez, C. (2012) Clouds, Clocks and Policy Dynamics: A Path (Inter)Dependent Analysis of EU Cohesion Policy. Policy & Politics, 40 (2),153-170

Recognising the limitations of existing conceptualisations of path dependence, this article advances a ‘path-interdependent’ approach to account for endogenous policy change by incorporating a more central role for agency through learning and problem-solving mechanisms. Additionally, it argues that monolithic conceptualisations of institutions should be unpacked to reveal their configurative elements. In doing so, attention is drawn to the way in which intra-policy dynamics may generate pressures for change and to the possibility for the mutual existence and co-evolution of continuity and change. These arguments are illustrated empirically through two cases of radical reform in European Union (EU) cohesion policy.

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