EXPLAINING RADICAL POLICY CHANGE: THE CASE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY UNDER THE BRITISH LABOUR GOVERNMENT 2006–10
Article first published online: 23 AUG 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Volume 92, Issue 1, pages 125–141, March 2014
How to Cite
CARTER, N. and JACOBS, M. (2014), EXPLAINING RADICAL POLICY CHANGE: THE CASE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY UNDER THE BRITISH LABOUR GOVERNMENT 2006–10. Public Administration, 92: 125–141. doi: 10.1111/padm.12046
- Issue published online: 24 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 23 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 4 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 14 AUG 2012
An innovative framework combining the ‘multiple streams’ (MS) and ‘punctuated equilibrium’ (PE) models of agenda-setting is used to explain the transformation of UK climate change and energy policy under the Labour Government between 2006 and 2010. The coupling of the problem, politics and policy streams by policy entrepreneurs (MS), and changes in policy image and institutional venues (PE), were critical in opening a policy window, disrupting the existing policy monopoly and enabling radical policy initiatives. The case study suggests two revisions to the models: (1) policy windows can remain open far longer than either model typically predicts; and (2) party politics, especially where party competition generates a ‘competitive consensus’, can be important for both initiating and prolonging policy change in parliamentary systems. An important factor typically overlooked by both models is the significant policy entrepreneurship role that government ministers can play, particularly when an issue becomes part of their ‘narrative identity’.