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Neighbor-proof? A policy process comparison between the neighborhoods Berflo Es and Hengelose Es

Starke, Frank (2011) Neighbor-proof? A policy process comparison between the neighborhoods Berflo Es and Hengelose Es.

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Abstract:Two neighborhoods have been selected for analyzing policy interventions in the city of Hengelo on the basis of criteria like average income, employment rates, average housing value, tenure distribution and unsafety rate. These two neighborhoods are Berflo Es and Hengelose Es, leading to the following main question: What factors can explain the differences or similarities in policy interventions in the neighborhoods Berflo Es and Hengelose Es in Hengelo? Three theoretical models were selected to help in the explanation for differences and similarities which have been found. First, Kingdon’s stream model describes conditions (policy, problems and politics) that change independently and have to be right in order for certain policy to be implemented, but not without being pushed through by a policy entrepreneur. Second, this model is complemented by the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). The ACF is built on the premise that actors in a policy subsystem share certain policy beliefs and form coalitions in accordance to those. These coalitions develop strategies to have their policy implemented and the actual policy is created by mediation by a policy broker. Third, network theories are used for explanation presuming that parties that cooperate are more effective and their outcomes more preferable than would be in the case of competition. Strength and effectiveness of the network are to be explained by the relationship between actors and the resources they bring. In accordance to these three models, the research was aimed at two different topics, being policy and actors. An answer on the first topic has been found in many policy documents, whereas the answer on the second question has mostly been formulated by respondents to an interview. Then the differences and similarities. On the topic of policy, both neighborhoods suffer from similar problems. Most goals set in both neighborhoods are also similar, differences are mostly put in terms of abstractness. In terms of measures, some similarities still remain but more differences come to light. These differences source back to either different policy actors or unique circumstances in the neighborhood. On the topic of actors, the first difference between both neighborhoods is the existence of Scoring in the Neighborhood in Berflo Es. This is an actor with a lot of influence on the neighborhood policy by producing its own and as such labeled as policy entrepreneur. The rest of the actors are present in both neighborhoods and brought in similar resources. Another difference is the use of the municipality’s external network (as a resource) in Berflo Es, generating national resources and gaining it a spot on governmental lists. Also different in Berflo Es is the interference of the residents association, writing their own visionary document, whereas in the Hengelose Es a new residents association was created in the course of the policy process. When looking at the understanding of the problem, all actors agree with the eventual policy and mention similar problems in the neighborhoods. Concluding, the explanations on the differences and similarities found are linked to three important themes. First, the existence of Scoring in the neighborhood in Berflo Es, creating many policy measures and, however less important, unlocking access to more resources at national government. Second, some difference in conditions, where both neighborhoods have some unique circumstances that make some measures possible. Third, in both neighborhoods only one single dominant coalition is present, which means that all actors in both neighborhoods share each other’s policy beliefs.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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