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Comparing the Dynamics of Change in Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Policy in Spain

Laura Chaqués and Anna Palau
Journal of Public Policy
Vol. 29, No. 1 (Apr., 2009), pp. 103-126
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40072063
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Comparing the Dynamics of Change in Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Policy in Spain
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Abstract

Comparative analysis shows that while policy windows and policy entrepreneurs are important, they are insufficient to account for policy change. An understanding of the institutional setting is key to explaining the speed and the magnitude of policy dynamics. In both food safety and pharmaceutical policy in Spain, a redefinition of policy image has involved a transformation of the policy subsystem. In the case of food safety such a paradigm shift has represented a dramatic change, in the case of pharmaceuticals it has meant a gradual process that has developed over a decade. Periods of stability in the pharmaceutical sector reflect the ability of a closed policy community to control problem framing. By contrast, rapid changes in food safety policies are the result of crisis situations governed by a relatively loose policy network. The European Union has been a key policy venue that can transform an institutional framework towards one that is more pluralistic and expert oriented.

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