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The governance of problemsPuzzling, powering and participation$
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Robert Hoppe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429629

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429629.001.0001

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Cultures of public policy problems

Cultures of public policy problems

(p.91) Four Cultures of public policy problems
The governance of problems

Robert Hoppe

Policy Press

This chapter examines the politico-cognitive aspects of problem structuring in their cultural-institutional ecology and dynamics. It constructs a culturalist theory of the socio-political contexts of problem framing and structuring in the public domain in Western welfare states. Using grid-group cultural theory and the typology of policy problems, the discussion shows how, in such translation and framing dynamics, each culture or way of life corresponds to a particular problem-framing and problem-definition strategy. It explains that each of the four problem structures has strong selective affinities or congruencies with only one type of cultural-institutional environment: hierarchy, individualism, groupism or enclavism, and isolationism or fatalism.

Keywords:   problem structuring, fatalism, individualism, institutional ecology, Western welfare states, cultural theory

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