Solutions in search of a problem: Opening policy windows for Business Improvement Districts in the Nordic countries
IUR members Chiara Valli and Peter Parker, together with Kristian Oelsen from Aalborg University published an article in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space titled “Solutions in search of a problem: Opening policy windows for Business Improvement Districts in the Nordic countries“.
Policy mobility literature invites us to consider the power-laden processes of how urban policies are exported, mimicked, and transformed in different urban contexts. However, recent critique has highlighted the need for a fuller understanding of urban policy context to understand where and when policies come to be implemented in new settings and how they are transformed. The purpose of this study is to explore understandings of urban policy context in a comparative study of policy mobility, and specifically relations between internationally packaged concepts, local pilot projects and national level actors. We develop a framework for understanding these relations in policy mobility based on case studies of BID policy development in Sweden and Denmark drawing on both Policy Mobility literature and a Multiple Streams Approach. The main finding is that local pilots play a key role in translating packaged policy concepts but also serve as ‘proof of concept’ for further institutionalization. The way these pilots are discursively situated in relation to ‘problems’ is therefore of central importance for further implementation. Furthermore, the study highlights the role of policy entrepreneurs that connect local pilots (and discursive problems) with national level actors, and political opportunities.