Dissecting Policy Designs: An Application of the Institutional Grammar Tool
38 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 8 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
An enduring challenge for the policy and political sciences is valid and reliable depiction of policy designs. One emerging approach for dissecting policy designs is the application of Elinor Ostrom and Sue Crawford’s institutional grammar tool (1995; 2005). The grammar tool offers a method to identify systematically the core elements that comprise policies, including target audiences, expected patterns of behavior, and formal modes of sanctioning for noncompliance. This paper provides three contributions to the study of policy designs by developing and applying the institutional grammar tool. First, we provide revised guidelines for applying the institutional grammar tool to the study of policy design. Second, an additional component to the grammar, called the object, is introduced. Third, we apply the modified grammar tool to four policies that shape Colorado State Aquaculture to demonstrate its effectiveness and utility in uncovering practical and theoretical patterns within policies. The conclusion summarizes the contributions of the paper as well as points to future research and applications of the institutional grammar tool.
Keywords: institutions, IAD framework, institutional grammar tool, aquaculture
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