Actors and scenes in the bricolage of public policies

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This is the abstract of a paper published in Hungarian about the KNOWandPOL project.

The author – who is also the editor of the issue - presents findings of the synthesis report that summarizes the case studies elaborated in the framework of the “Know and Pol” European research project. The cases studies provide us with an in-depth analysis of the public actions that has recently evolved in the education and health sectors in eight European countries with a special regard on the role of different knowledges and knowledge holders in the policy making process.

The research utilised the notion of public action that underlines the participation of numerous actors in the elaboration of public policy. However the author emphasizes that the analysed public policies were initiated and carried out by different governmental institutions. Nevertheless in one case, a political reform emerged to the political agenda after a series of media events generated by parents and researchers focusing on of the educational integration of children with special needs. It became evident from the case-studies that the bricolage of policy frequently relies on borrowing accross countries facilitated by idea-brokers (researchers, civil-servants or politicians). The author underlines that from the perspective of the success of borrowing, the adaptation of foreign models to the national context is a crucial issue.

The last section of the paper describes how the key-actors of the political field gain an extended freedom by constructing different new scenes (reform commissions, consultative bodies, etc.) that offers the possibility of participating in the policy making process for a wider range of actors (civil servants, researchers, delegates of pressure groups, etc.). In the case of the two analyzed educational public actions in France and Hungary – that we can consider as the genuine plots for the modernization –, the creation of new bodies allow going beyond the traditional set of policy-making actors. Nevertheless the Belgian educational case study shows that in the context of the “consensual/consocial?” democracy the delegates of pressure groups are naturally included in the work of the new important bodies (steering committee – Comité de Pilotage).


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