This research project was about policy instruments and new modes of governance. It built upon the work of Peter Hall and Christopher Hood, and critically used the American literature on “new governance” and policy instruments (Peters, Salomon). It built on the work done in CEVIPOF with Bruno Palier and Pierre Lascoumes.
More precisely, this project explored when new policy instruments, based on non-hierarchical steering modes, result in policy change. The project analyzed the use of new policy instruments in different policy sectors, including regional and environmental policy, and state reforms and demonstrated under which conditions the choice of policy instruments contributes to structure policy outcomes and the implementation process in the countries (CEE and SE) under consideration. The project underlined the contradictory impact of different policy instruments and the rise of NMG as a response to the coordination problems raised by the use of new policy instruments. It critically examined the import of EU policy instruments and their combination in different regional and national contexts. The cases included environment policy, structural policy and state reforms in Italy, France, UK. The policy instrument project had also an horizontal dimension which was relevant for the overall integrated project.
Beyond the description and typologies of policy instruments which are usual in the literature (and debate about their effectiveness) we looked at the process of “instrumentation” of choosing instruments for policies. Too much of the research on NMG and policy instruments had long been functionalist tunes: finding the “right” combination of instruments to maximize the effectiveness.