1st Edition

Fiascos in Public Policy and Foreign Policy

Edited By Kai Oppermann, Alexander Spencer Copyright 2017
    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    The collection brings together scholars from Public Policy and Foreign Policy to address the theme of policy fiascos. So far research on failure and fiascos in both Public Policy and Foreign Policy has existed independent of each other with very little communication between the two sub-disciplines. The contributions aim to bridge this divide and bring the two sides into a dialogue on some of the central issues in the study of fiascos including how to define, identify and measure policy failure (and success); the social and political contestation about what counts as policy fiascos; the causes of policy fiascos and their consequences; the attribution of blame; as well as processes of learning from fiascos. A common theme of the collection is to explore different epistemological and methodological approaches to studying policy fiascos.

    This book will appeal to scholars and practitioners interested in policy failures and fiascos both within and among states and other international actors. It was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy.

    1. Studying fiascos: bringing public and foreign policy together
    Kai Oppermann and Alexander Spencer

    2. Revisiting the study of policy failures
    Mark Bovens and Paul ‘t Hart

    3. A public policy approach to understanding the nature and causes of foreign policy failure
    Allan McConnell

    4. Telling stories of failure: narrative constructions of foreign policy fiascos
    Kai Oppermann and Alexander Spencer

    5. ‘Fiasco prime ministers’: leaders’ beliefs and personality traits as possible causes for policy fiascos
    Klaus Brummer

    6. The fiasco of the 2013 Syria votes: decline and denial in British foreign policy
    Jamie Gaskarth

    7. Over- and under-reaction to transboundary threats: two sides of a misprinted coin?
    Christoph O. Meyer

    8. Resilient blunderers: credit rating fiascos and rating agencies’ institutionalized status as private authorities
    Andreas Kruck

    9. Dissonance and decision-making mistakes in the age of risk
    Ryan Beasley


    Kai Oppermann is Reader in Politics at the University of Sussex, UK. His research interests relate to the domestic sources of foreign policy and European integration as well as British and German foreign and European policy.

    Alexander Spencer is Associate Professor of Global Governance at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. His research focuses on constructivist approaches to global governance and European foreign and security policy.