Explaining Policy Success Using the Multiple Streams Framework: Political Success Despite Programmatic Failure of the Solar Energy Policy in Gujarat, India

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Abstract

Although many scholars have studied policy success and failure, the relationship of these phenomena to the policy process—essential for an explanatory or anticipatory analysis—remains unclear. I address this gap by linking the policy success heuristic with the multiple streams framework (MSF) and developing hypotheses to explain outcomes. I apply this conceptualization to the case of the solar energy policy in Gujarat, India by combining a qualitative policy assessment with a process trace of policy making. The findings show that the conflicted process success and the programmatic failure resulted largely from a top-down push for a policy without a problem. This push, nevertheless, led to political success that was sustained by recoupling problems and politics through agenda denial, blame avoidance, and credit claiming. I conclude with implications for the research on policy evaluation, the MSF, and policy studies, as well as the governance of a sustainable energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitics & Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Environmental Policy
  • MSF
  • Multiple Streams Framework
  • Policy Entrepreneurship
  • Policy Evaluation
  • Policy Failure
  • Policy Innovation
  • Policy Process
  • Policy Success
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable Energy Transition

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