Policy analytical capacity in changing governance contexts: A structural equation model (SEM) study of contemporary canadian policy work

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Abstract Governments face many challenges in maintaining effective policymaking capacity as their governance activities alter and change. The emergence of a gap between government aspirations and street-level conditions for policy workers can lead to an increased likelihood of poor policy outcomes. Maintaining strong policy capacity in such public services is a critical factor in avoiding various kinds of policy failures. Very little large-scale empirical research has been dedicated to the study of contemporary policy work, however, making it difficult to evaluate competing claims about the impact of changing conditions on practices of policy analysis. Using data derived from three large-scale surveys of Canadian policy analysts conducted during 2007 to 2008, this article develops and tests several key hypotheses about contemporary policy work and its relationship to policy analytical capacity.

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© The Author(s). Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0952076710381933

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Public Policy and Administration