How the Breathers Beat the Burners: The Policy Market and the Role of Technical, Political, and Legal Capital in Pursuing Policy Outcomes
Ley, Aaron John
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When making policy in a separated system, stakeholders choose among a broad array of policymaking venues for pursuing their policy goals. What explains the decisions of stakeholders to choose among different institutional venues? I use case studies from a pitched environmental conflict in three Pacific Northwest states to explain how the costs and benefits of policymaking differ across multiple policymaking venues and what motivates stakeholders and interest groups to make the strategic decisions they do. Depending on the structure of costs and benefits in each of the various institutional venues, stakeholders may consider pursuing policy outcomes in whichever one maximizes the benefits and minimizes the costs of policymaking in comparison to other policymaking venues. The policymaking process, therefore, is best conceptualized as a policy market where political entrepreneurs use their available technical, legal, and political resources to pursue their preferred policy outcomes across multiple institutional venues.