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Policy Instruments in Practice

Jordan, Andrew; Benson, David; Wurzel, Rüdiger; Zito, Anthony


Andrew Jordan

David Benson

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Professor Rudi Wurzel
Professor of Comparative European Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Studies.

Anthony Zito


John S. Dryzek

Richard B. Norgaard

David Schlosberg


© The several contributors 2011. All rights reserved. This article is about the instruments that have been adopted by various governments to implement the decided policy on climate change. This article surveys the theoretical literature on instruments, identifying and unpacking key terms, and it sets out two ways to theorize and thus explains observed patterns of instrument selection 'in practice', the first based on actor behaviour and the second on the mediating effect of institutions. It also investigates instrument choices in one important governing context, namely the EU, which comprises twenty-seven Member States and hosts the world's largest single market. The analysis in this article mainly focuses on instrument selection and adoption practices rather than performance. It also focuses on the instruments associated with mitigating climate change rather than adapting to its unfolding impacts. Finally, this article draws together the main arguments and identifies future challenges in this rapidly developing area of climate change research and policy.


Jordan, A., Benson, D., Wurzel, R., & Zito, A. (2011). Policy Instruments in Practice. In J. S. Dryzek, R. B. Norgaard, & D. Schlosberg (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (536 - 549). Oxford University Press.

Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2011
Online Publication Date Jan 6, 2012
Publication Date Aug 18, 2011
Pages 536 - 549
Book Title The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society
ISBN 9780191735271
Public URL