Prostitution Policy Reform and the Causal Role of Ideas: A Comparative Study of Policy-Making in the Nordic Countries

19 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 22 Sep 2009

See all articles by Gregg Bucken-Knapp

Gregg Bucken-Knapp

University of Stirling

Johan Karlsson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Karin Persson Strömbäck

University of Stirling

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

In this study, we focus on the causal role of ideas for understanding how proponents of a given prostitution policy reform are able to secure support from policymakers. Over the past decade, the use of an ideational approach has shifted from the margins to the mainstream in comparative public policy analysis. Ideational approaches emphasize how policy entrepreneurs are able to portray desired reforms as being consistent with broader ideational frameworks held by key decision makers. Thus, by carefully studying how actors use ideas to achieve policy change, the ideational approach is an advance over approaches that have chiefly focused on the strategic resources held by actors within varying institutional contexts. Given that a central feature of the prostitution policy reform process in all four settings has been exceptionally heated national debates in which societal norms, expert knowledge and cultural values have figured prominently, we argue that an ideational approach is particularly fruitful for analyzing cross-Nordic variation in policy outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Bucken-Knapp, Gregg and Karlsson, Johan and Persson Strömbäck, Karin, Prostitution Policy Reform and the Causal Role of Ideas: A Comparative Study of Policy-Making in the Nordic Countries (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1452294

Gregg Bucken-Knapp (Contact Author)

University of Stirling ( email )

School of History & Politics
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Johan Karlsson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Karin Persson Strömbäck

University of Stirling ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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