The development and implementation of drug policy in England 1994-2004.

Arnull, Elaine (2007) The development and implementation of drug policy in England 1994-2004. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of drug policy in England between 1994 and 2004. It focuses on five areas: - how drug policy was developed, why partnership forms were chosen as the mechanisms by which to achieve implementation and the impact of that décision, the relationship between the centre and localities, partnerships as new forms of governance and whether institutional resilience has been observed. The research used a multi-method approach comprised of three components: a literature review; an analysis of documentary sources, including the three key drug policies, and original, empirical research. The latter was undertaken with two separate groups, the first responsible for drug policy development and the second for policy implementation. Tackling Drugs Together (TDT,1995) was developed by a small group of people who successfully exploited the opportunities open to them and who were observed to have used all of the 'factors' identified by Levin (1997) in their capacities, as civil servants, politicians and members of the voluntary and campaigning sectors. They were 'motivated' to achieve change (from their institutional, personal or organisational position) and used the 'opportunities' and 'resources' open to them to do that. They did not however form a 'policy network' (Berridge 2006; Duke 2002; Sabatier 1998; Wong 1998; Hughes 1997). Those developing TDT (1995) chose partnership forms (Drug Action Teams - DATS) as a mechanism for implementation, because they provided an answer in a complex social policy area, allowing a wide variety of organisations to be brought together. In addition, the concept was associated with newness and dynamism. The direction of drug policy, post 1998, is linked to New Labour's wider social policy perspective - incorporating a focus on communlty and social responsibility. On the whole, DATs have supportéd this direction. Their relationship to the centre has in general been positive, whilst responding to a strong performance management framework. DATs have accepted this for the benefits it brings; and highly functional DATs have learned to adapt policies to their own local needs. Their sophistication, functionality and structure indícate that they have become new forms of governance (Newman 2001). This does not mean however that the old institutions have disappeared; they have shown resilience (Klein 1993) and adapted to the changes, working within a partnership, performance management and regional framework. The thesis makes a contribution by focussing on drug policy development and implementation. Through the examination of the impact of the partnership and performance management approaches over a décade, it illuminâtes other social policy areas and New Labour changes, especially within the area of governance, developing our understanding of institutional change and resilience.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:Theses
School of Health and Education > Health & Education
ID Code:7983
Deposited On:07 Jul 2011 10:11
Last Modified:23 Jul 2014 05:13

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