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Knowledge, Policy, and ExpertiseThe UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution 1970–2011$
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Susan Owens

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294658.001.0001

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The Circumstances of Influence

The Circumstances of Influence

Chapter:
(p.125) 6 The Circumstances of Influence
Source:
Knowledge, Policy, and Expertise
Author(s):

Susan Owens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294658.003.0006

This chapter focuses on the ways in which the Commission’s ideas came to have effect, and on the conditions in which they were most or least likely to do so. The Commission had impact, but its influence is best conceived of in terms of a spectrum or continuum, with rapid responses at one end and long-term conditioning of the policy environment at the other. In between are ‘dormant seeds’, diffuse forms of influence, invisible levers, and changes in the policy frame, all shading into one another along the spectrum and sometimes co-existing. The ‘dogs that didn’t bark’—recommendations that sank without trace—are also considered. This fine-grained analysis draws on the cases considered in Chapters 4 and 5, but also ranges widely across the Commission’s contributions and government responses. Setting its findings within a wider conceptual framework (Chapter 1), and drawing on ideas such as framing, policy learning, and boundary work, it helps to illuminate relations among knowledge, expert advice, and processes of policy evolution.

Keywords:   expert advice, recommendations, framing, boundary work, government responses, influence, legislation, policy learning, policy frame

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