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Influencing Social PolicyApplied Psychology Serving the Public Interest$
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Kenneth I. Maton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199989973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199989973.001.0001

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Policy Failures and Defeats, Barriers and Challenges, and Lessons Learned

Policy Failures and Defeats, Barriers and Challenges, and Lessons Learned

(p.262) 8 Policy Failures and Defeats, Barriers and Challenges, and Lessons Learned
Influencing Social Policy

Kenneth I. Maton

Oxford University Press

The majority of psychologists interviewed emphasize the inherent difficulty in changing social policy—the barriers and challenges typically present, the mistakes made, and the lessons learned. This chapter first examines the different types of failures and defeats the psychologists interviewed experienced in the policy arena. Next, five major barriers that underlie such failures and defeats are highlighted: partisan politics, in the form of ideologies, values, and beliefs; corporate power, vested interests, and position power; issues of cost and budget; transitions and turnover; and implementation, scaling up, and challenges of systems change. The third section of the chapter delineates a number of more personal challenges experienced by those interviewed, including effective communication, scientific and personal integrity, weathering personal attacks, and time/work pressure. The chapter concludes with respondents sharing key lessons learned in the face of policy failures, defeats, mistakes, barriers, and personal challenges.

Keywords:   policy failures, policy defeats, policy barriers, policy challenges, policy lessons learned

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