Implementing and Designing Interactive Governance Arenas: A Top-Down Governance Perspective

Andreas Hagedorn Krogh


Mandating interactive governance arenas presents itself as an appealing strategy for determined public policy-makers at the frontier of New Public Governance. Yet, it also confronts researchers and practitioners with a new set of policy execution problems that prompts re-examination of one of the oldest research questions in public administration research: how and why the high hopes of central policy-makers are (not) translated into practice. By combining insights from the public policy implementation literature, network governance literature and theories of institutional design, the article suggests an analytical framework for studying top-down implementation of interactive governance arenas. The framework enables researchers and practitioners to identify a number of critical junctions in the implementation process with important implications for the final design of the interactive arenas. To demonstrate the usefulness of the framework, a longitudinal case-analysis of the implementation of ten Local Crime Prevention Councils in one of twelve Danish police districts is conducted. Finally, the article advances a set of propositions on the specific dynamics of top-down implementation of mandated governance arenas and contemplates three types of managerial strategies for successfully setting up New Public Governance structures.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413