Policy Image

Crucial concept within Punctuated Equilibrium, which argues that during low pressure periods there is a sense of ‘nothing to see here, move on‘, that everything is literally and metaphorically ‘under control’…

“Policy venues are institutional arenas where decisions on an issue can be taken. Policy images are policy communities’ shared ideas about the policy at stake. They explain what the issue is about, how it should be seen, and which solutions are appropriate. Venues and images are coupled. Policy change essentially happens when a new policy image finds receptive ground in a new policy venue and the old venue loses control over the issue, leading to issue expansion.”

(Walgrave and Varone, 2008: 367)

Walgrave S. and Varone, F. 2008. Punctuated Equilibrium and Agenda-Setting: Bringing Parties Back in: Policy Change after the Dutroux Crisis in Belgium. Governance, Vol. 21, (3), pp.365-395
See also policy monopoly


policy communities

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