Policy Image in Urban Governance: Migration Crisis and the City of Zagreb

Željko Poljak


This paper questions concept of policy image in terms of urban governance. Policy image is a key concept developed by Baumgartner and Jones in order to explain policy stability and punctuation in the context of the punctuated equilibrium theory. When there is one dominant policy image it keeps policy in stability, but when there is a strong alternative image or more, it can create punctuation and drastically change certain policy. The author chooses to analyze this concept on urban level of governance, specifically in the City of Zagreb in Croatia on the case of migration crisis that occurred in Croatia in late 2015. By using qualitative methodology and general inductive approach in analysis of interviews that were conducted with city officials and politicians the author finds only one dominant policy image in terms of different categories which can be associated with migration crisis and that image is mostly connected with humanitarian approach. In conclusion, the author argues that this dominant policy image kept governance in its stability in Zagreb during migration crisis while stressing hypothesis that this image was present on national level of governance as well.

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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