Dynamic narrative: a new framework for policy success

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Open Edition Journals
International Review of Public Policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.
This article proposes a new framework for policy success that potentially facilitates planning, tracking, evaluating and communicating the trajectory of successes in a policy initiative. In this reframing of success, rather than being singular, successes are multiple and relational. Playing out in a shifting story-scape that progresses throughout the life of a policy, this approach addresses many of the challenges for public administrators trying to establish policy success in a demanding and complex policy environment. Re-purposing data from research on a trans-national border policy development over 2009 to 2012, this article applies the new framework to illustrate the power of the new approach. Using concepts of relationality, multiplicity, translation and stabilization, it builds on and acknowledges the value of Marsh and McConnell’s framework for policy success. This dynamic narrative approach blends the narrative contributions of Hannah Arendt and Bruno Latour with Marsh and McConnell’s three dimensions of success. In so doing, it reveals the effects of shifting narratives across the three dimensions, and demonstrates how it addresses problems with Marsh and McConnell’s framework. Its ability to be forward-looking, and therefore valuable for planning, differentiates the approach from criticisms of the retroactive, and therefore limited use, of other policy narrative approaches.
policy success, multiplicity, policy narrative, translation, trans-Tasman, actor-network theory
International Review of Public Policy, 2019, 1 (2), pp. 173 - 193 (20)