In Punctuated Equilibrium, the sorts of low-level resistance to change (see negative feedback) that act as a brake on rapid/radical change.

Compare with “load” in Multiple Streams Approach, perhaps?

Friction more generally;

“Baumgartner and Jones recently introduced the generic notion of friction, indicating why political actors react disproportionally on incoming information (Jones and Baumgartner 2005; Jones, Sulkin, and Larsen 2003). Friction implies that political actors, sometimes, do not react at all—they are very busy doing other things—but then they overreact and suddenly spend a large amount of attention to the issue. They suggest that, in different countries, different institutions and different actors may play the role of blocking change until there is no other option than catching-up and realizing a major reform.”

(Walgrave and Varone, 2008: 392)

Recent distinction on two kinds of friction – cognitive and institutional

Cognitive  Friction–  “various mechanisms that retard attending to and acting on information, which we summarise as cognitive friction (Jones, Sulkin, and Larsen 2003; Jones and Baumgartner 2005b).” (Baumgartner and Jones, 2015:46)

Institutional Friction – usual frictions (turf wars, but also different cycles of frequency of meetings/ratification procedures) that slow down rapid decision making.

NOT the same as stalemate and blockage –

“In sum, stalemate and blockage are not the same as friction; friction is a more complete idea as it incorporates both resistance to change as well as abrupt shifts when barriers to change are overcome” p.18
New Approach to the Study of Comparative Public Policy: The Comparative Policy Agendas Project Frank Baumgartner


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