Implementing and Designing Interactive Governance Arenas: A Top-Down Governance Perspective

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Mandating interactive governance arenas presents itself as an appealing strategy for determined public policy-makers at the frontier of New Public Governance. Yet, it also confronts researchers and practitioners with a new set of policy execution problems that prompts re-examination of one of the oldest research questions in public administration research: how and why are the high hopes of central policy-makers (not) translated into practice? By combining insights from the public policy implementation literature, network governance literature and theories of multi-actor institutional design, the article develops a theoretical perspective for studying top-down implementation of interactive governance arenas. The developed perspective enables researchers and practitioners to identify a number of critical junctions in the implementation process with important implications for the final design of the interactive arenas. A longitudinal case-analysis of the implementation of ten Local Crime Prevention Councils in one of twelve Danish police districts is conducted to demonstrate how the perspective may be deployed in empirical studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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