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Integrated policy approaches and policy failure: the case of Australia’s Oceans Policy


Vince, JZ, Integrated policy approaches and policy failure: the case of Australia's Oceans Policy, Policy Sciences, 48, (2) pp. 159-180. ISSN 0032-2687 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Springer Science+Business Media

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11077-015-9215-z


Governments have struggled to successfully implement large-scale integrated policy approaches, often resulting in policy failure. However, there has been little investigation into why this is the case. This paper links the discourse on policy failure and integrated policy approaches and identifies what aspects of ‘integration’ cause failure. It argues that programme failure occurs in integrated policy approaches when there are unachievable goals or timelines, poor policy design and/or when the incorrect types of processes are selected. Policy process failure is particularly evident in an integrated policy’s implementation where multi-sector and multi-level issues arise, whereas failure in the politics of integrated approaches is found in political gain and blame avoidance of key decision-makers. This framework is then applied to Australia’s Oceans Policy demonstrating that it was unable to achieve its original objectives; the layering process of new policy and institutions on established silos was ineffective; and the new institutions did not have the integrative capacity required for successful implementation. The Australian experience reveals that an institutional model that can deal with multiple issues, jurisdictions and sectors holistically is essential if integrative capacity is to be achieved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Environment policy
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Vince, JZ (Dr Joanna Vince)
ID Code:100636
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-05-22
Last Modified:2017-11-27

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