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Title: Analysing complex policy problems: a critical review of the literature

Authors: Carolina Milhorance; Marcel Bursztyn; Eric Sabourin

Addresses: Center for International Development and Agricultural Research (CIRAD) – UMR Art-Dev, France; University of Brasilia, Brasília, Brazil ' Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Brasilia (CSD/UnB), Brasília, Brazil ' Center for International Development and Agricultural Research (CIRAD) – UMR Art-Dev, MUSE Montpellier, France; University of Brasilia, Brasília, Brazil

Abstract: The governance of complex policy issues such as food security, climate change, global health, and migration often calls for integrative approaches, as progressing in one goal may result in either synergies or tradeoffs in others. A large body of literature has addressed concerns regarding the multiple combinations of policy instruments, cross-sectoral interfaces and conflicts, governance involving a growing number of stakeholders, governance levels, and policy goals. This study presents a cross-cutting literature review of the different concepts developed to address these challenges, along with their origins, thematic focus, theoretical approaches, and recent developments, aiming to identify their points of contact and to critically analyse their strengths and research gaps. The results are expected to support the academic debate and provide a heuristic outline for research while calling for further theorisation and the development of assessment methods and case studies beyond the traditional geographic focus.

Keywords: policy integration; policy mix; nexus approach; cross-sectoral governance; multilevel governance; literature review.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2022.124774

International Journal of Public Policy, 2022 Vol.16 No.2/3/4, pp.126 - 150

Accepted: 07 Apr 2022
Published online: 08 Aug 2022 *

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