DILC Phase 4 Formation and implementation of substantive policy and industry diversification

Problem-related pressures:

(1) Public attention increases rapidly in the fourth phase, leading the issue to acquire ‘celebrity status’and moving into macro-political arenas.

(2) Increasing public attention makes the problem area attractive to policy entrepreneurs and politicians in macro-political arenas (e.g. Parliament, govern-ment). “When, public attention poses such political pressure thatpoliticians see themselves forced to act, unless they wish to risk asevere loss of popularity, then political action will be taken” (Newig,2004: p. 168).

(3) High-level policy-makers may introduce radical policies to address the problem, which often requires changes in policy beliefs, problem-definitions and issue framing (Sabatier andJenkins-Smith, 1999).

Industry responses:

(1) Because the new policies affect ‘primary involvement arenas’ (e.g. requiring firms to meet new standards),firms engage in substantive action (Mahon and Waddock, 1992).On the one hand, industry actors use political strategies to oppose policies and hinder implementation. On the other hand, their technological strategies move towards diversification and increasing R&D investments in new technologies, partly to comply with regulations, partly in response to possible economic threats (from outsiders) and opportunities (increasing market demand).

(2) This dual strategic orientation causes major tensions in the industry.The closed industry front may begin to crack when existing firms break ranks or when new entrants (or firms from other sectors or countries) move in to ‘jockey for position’.

(3) New capabilities and regulations begin to transform parts of the industry regime.


(Geels and Penna, 2015: 71-2)

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