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The Structure of Policy Change$
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Derek A. Epp

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226529691

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226529868.001.0001

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Complexity, Capacity, and Collective Decisions

Complexity, Capacity, and Collective Decisions

(p.29) Three Complexity, Capacity, and Collective Decisions
The Structure of Policy Change

Derek A. Epp

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces the three hypotheses that are tested in this book. Each hypothesis argues that lawmakers can process information more completely under a given set of circumstances and that this influences patterns of policy change. The complexity hypothesis is that issues that are complicated for either natural or political reasons will be more vulnerable to policy punctuations than less complicated issues. The institutional capacity hypothesis is that government institutions can invest in policy analysis to help lawmakers sort through all of the information relevant to complex issues. Institutions that have a higher institutional capacity should produce policies that are less prone to major disruptions. Finally, the chapter discusses the difference between deliberative and collective decision-making procedures, hypothesizing that, given the right conditions, collective decision-making can allow lawmakers to process information at a very high level.

Keywords:   complex issues, institutional capacity, deliberative decision making, collective decision making, information processing

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