Policy Design and Nodal Governance: A Comparative Analysis of Determinants of Environmental Policy Change in a South African City

Froestad, J., Grimwood, S., Herbstein, T. & Shearing, C. 2015. Policy Design and Nodal Governance: A Comparative Analysis of Determinants of Environmental Policy Change in a South African City. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research & Practice, 17(2): 174-191.

22 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015

See all articles by Jan Froestad

Jan Froestad

Bergen University College

Sakina Grimwood

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Tom Herbstein

University of Cambridge

Clifford Shearing

Griffith Institute of Criminology; University of Cape Town; University of Montreal, School of Criminology; University of New South Wales

Date Written: October 14, 2015

Abstract

This contribution focuses on a policy paradox, a failed attempt to introduce a Solar Water Heater bylaw in a South African city in spite of much initial support, both politically and professionally. The paper combines a policy design and a nodal governance perspective to explain why the law failed to materialise. It uses categories developed by the nodal governance approach to characterise the mentalities and technologies of the public agencies involved in the policy process, and explore how distinct policy cultures are nurtured by the networked relations and concomitant learning contexts of these agencies. The analysis shows how the agencies differ sharply on philosophical and practical grounds as to how they typically think about policy values and interventions. This tends to make the collaboration between them difficult as each of them experiences the other as seeking to frustrate rather to assist the policy process. The paper documents how “superstitious learning” became a predominant trait of the bylaw process, as each of the agencies tended to look for evidence in the actions of officials in the other department that confirmed their stereotypical view of them, and reinforced it during the process of interaction. Insufficient attention was given, early on in the bylaw process, to the fact that these departments would have to cooperate closely and that “buy-in” from both was a critical condition for success. Due to this, unfortunate policy design choices fed forward through the implementation process and disabled opportunities for co-learning and collective problem-solving.

Keywords: policing; South Africa; nodal governance; environment

JEL Classification: K32, H70

Suggested Citation

Froestad, Jan and Grimwood, Sakina and Herbstein, Tom and Shearing, Clifford D, Policy Design and Nodal Governance: A Comparative Analysis of Determinants of Environmental Policy Change in a South African City (October 14, 2015). Froestad, J., Grimwood, S., Herbstein, T. & Shearing, C. 2015. Policy Design and Nodal Governance: A Comparative Analysis of Determinants of Environmental Policy Change in a South African City. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research & Practice, 17(2): 174-191. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2674021 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2674021

Jan Froestad

Bergen University College ( email )

P.O. Box 7030
N-5020 Bergen
Norway

Sakina Grimwood

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Tom Herbstein

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

Clifford D Shearing (Contact Author)

Griffith Institute of Criminology ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://experts.griffith.edu.au/academic/c.shearing

University of Cape Town ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

HOME PAGE: http://www.publiclaw.uct.ac.za/pbl/staff/cshearing

University of Montreal, School of Criminology ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

University of New South Wales ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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