Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Conceptualising policy design in the policy process


The study of policy design has been of long-standing interest to policy scholars. Recent surveys of policy design scholarship acknowledge two main pathways along which it has developed; one in which the process of policy designing is emphasised and one in which the output of this policy designing process – for example, policy content – is emphasised. As part of a survey of extant research, this article discusses how scholars guided by different orientations to studying policy design are addressing and measuring common policy design concepts and themes, and offers future research opportunities. The article also provides a platform for considering how insights stemming from different orientations of policy design research can be integrated and mapped within the broader public policy process. Finally, the article raises the question of whether a framework that links different conceptualisations of policy design within the policy process might help to advance the field.


policy design