The network-actor approach to policy networks : case studies from health and HIV/AIDS policy implementation in Britain
It is justifiable to use policy networks analysis as a tool of explanation of the policy process, since this approach has become the "dominant paradigm" within political science, in Britain at least. However, since this approach has become increasingly under attack from within and without the discipline, the first task of this thesis is to defend - theoretically - the usefulness of the approach, with the second to demonstrate its continued usefulness. This is achieved by extending network considerations to arenas outwith policy formulation. Discussions of the importance of implementation, as well as Parliament, allow some qualifications to a traditional network focus on policy formulation networks, and the development of a framework which outlines a network interpretation of the policy cycle. The case study of health care policy in Britain largely confirms the hypotheses contained within this framework, whilst a closer look at the specific health policy response to HIV and AIDS policy allows focus on the applicability of traditional network concerns - such as sector/ subsector and the importance of insider status - to implementation.