1How do coverage entrepreneurs have an effect on coverage change? The voluminous quantity of literature on the affect of coverage entrepreneurs (Frisch-Aviram et al., 2018; Mintrom, 2019) maintains that they make use of a number of instruments to assist to result in coverage change. That includes prominently are methods: persuading, networking, framing, brokering, and advocating. Utilizing the case of Greek public well being coverage and embedding our argument throughout the A number of Streams Framework (MSF), we argue that the consequences of technique are contingent, relying on coverage venue creation and institutional attributes. Beneath circumstances of institutional fluidity and a weak and politicized public administration, coverage entrepreneurs will probably be extra profitable in influencing coverage change after they pursue the technique of venue creation. The literature assumes that the purpose of coverage entrepreneurs is to navigate between favorable and unfavorable institutional venues (Pralle, 2003; Baumgartner & Jones, 1993). As a substitute, we declare that, in some cases, venue creation is extra ceaselessly encountered and is prone to be a extra profitable technique as a result of it permits well-connected coverage entrepreneurs to steer the method extra straight towards desired outcomes.
2We look at two instances: the unsuccessful makes an attempt at reforming a extremely centralized and ineffective Greek well being system in 1992 and the profitable public well being reform of 2003. We selected well being coverage as a result of it represents a essentially necessary sector, from budgetary and quality-of-life views, with important interrelations to different sectors. Whereas nobody coverage sector represents your entire coverage course of, improvements and adjustments in healthcare ship indicators to be studied in different coverage sectors as effectively (Kingdon, 1984). We selected Greece as a result of it’s a nation of perennial resistance to coverage change (Kazakos, 2005). Its well being coverage neighborhood features a comparatively steady variety of stakeholders: docs, personal healthcare and insurance coverage suppliers and the pharma business (Sisouras, 2012). We selected instances earlier than 2010 as a result of the last decade beneath IMF supervision, from 2010 till 2020, imposed a chronic intermission from policymaking normality beneath a regime of exterior coverage conditionality (Spanou, 2020). Therefore, to focus on contextually pushed entrepreneurial strategizing, one ought to analysis main coverage developments earlier than 2010.
3The article first examines the literature on coverage entrepreneurial methods. We confirm that research are predicated on the idea of institutional stability and that they search to advance insights by specializing in extra fluid contexts. Subsequent, we situate our argument throughout the MSF and argue that, in instances of weak and politicized paperwork and institutional fluidity, the choice that’s extra probably to achieve success is venue creation. This includes creating new coverage venues with traits formed by coverage entrepreneurs. A majority of these venues are used to put in entrepreneurs on the core of the coverage course of and subsequently assist to find out the eventual end result. We then empirically probe the argument by analyzing two Greek makes an attempt at coverage change, 1992’s unsuccessful try and 2003’s profitable public well being reform. We conclude with implications for arguments of entrepreneurial strategic success, the MSF, and public well being coverage reforms.
4Coverage entrepreneurs are people “inside (…) or exterior authorities, however not simply wanting in” who search to capitalize on the anomaly of policymaking and to affect coverage outcomes (Kingdon, 1984). They’re outlined by their willingness and dedication to speculate their restricted assets in coverage advocacy by way of patterns of strategic motion (Herweg, Zahariadis & Zohlnhöfer, 2018). A lot of the literature focuses on options of company and follows an attributes-skills-strategies logic to light up the mechanisms by way of which coverage entrepreneurs affect public coverage outcomes (Arnold, 2020; Mintrom, 2019). We concentrate on methods as a result of they assist to form the eventual end result and we present that even the extensively used technique of venue buying supposes the existence of a menu of venues from which to decide on.
5Analysis has produced a set of coverage entrepreneur methods, which we distil right here in 5 classes. Utilizing and increasing networks has been proven to facilitate each the origination, and the communication, of concepts for coverage change. Working in cross-jurisdictional networks facilitates creating and lengthening the enchantment of alternate options to like-minded actors by way of interactions with “outsiders” to the coverage subsystem (Mintrom & Vergari, 1998). Furthermore, as change is never conditional on the pursuits of a single policymaker, or the institutional authority of a single venue, working inside networks permits coverage entrepreneurs to realize entry progressively to key stakeholders, to forge alliances, and to put on down resistance to vary (Béland & Katapally, 2018)
6Sub-sets of this class embrace working with advocacy coalitions and narrative constructing. Mobilizing like-minded stakeholders is the important thing to success (Sabatier, 1988). So long as coverage entrepreneurs are in a position to body and articulate the preferences of actor coalitions of their coverage proposals, they will mobilize a dynamic shift to the prevailing beliefs inside coverage subsystems, producing massive assist for coverage change (Shin & Lim, 2020; Mintrom & Vergari, 1996). In instances the place coverage entrepreneurs argue on behalf of coalitions exhibiting some extent of group, narrative constructing methods could also be employed, portraying how the suppression of the non-dominant coalition’s beliefs have disadvantaged the subsystem of an efficient policymaking trajectory (Cartwright, 2017).
7Coverage entrepreneurs can also collaborate by way of entrepreneurial coalition-building. Though, in early MSF accounts, coverage entrepreneurship was predominantly considered as a person exercise (Kingdon, 1984), scholarship has since proven that coverage change is usually promoted by “groups and never only one heroic, lonely particular person” (Petridou, 2014). Collective entrepreneurship normally comes about when entrepreneurs lack political capital and/or assets (Tang, Cheng & Cai, 2020) and search collaboration with like-minded entrepreneurs for elevated entry and affect (Cohen, 2016). Notably in conflictual coverage settings, collective entrepreneurship has been discovered to contribute to “organizing out” and neutralizing opposition (Johannesson & Qvist, 2020).
8Drawback framing is one other extensively recognized technique within the literature. Coverage change usually calls for putting in “a brand new and unfamiliar” mind-set about issues (Turner, Alabi & Race, 2020). Due to this fact, strategically utilizing proof to assemble frames round salient points could also be integral to fostering acceptance of a coverage proposal (Petridou & Mintrom, 2021; Mintrom & Luetjens, 2017). The technique of downside framing is usually related to venue buying and venue shifting (Baumgartner & Jones, 1993). These methods allow the institution of recent coverage photos: new views to the issues dealing with a sector and new understandings of accessible coverage choices. Strategic success for coverage entrepreneurs is conditional on figuring out essentially the most accepting and influential venue throughout the subsystem to advertise a brand new coverage picture (venue buying), or figuring out an acceptable venue exterior the subsystem, by way of which they will prolong or redefine the character of the issue (venue shifting) (Baumgartner & Jones 1993).
9The strategic use of coverage house shouldn’t be restricted to venues, nonetheless. Notably in instances of coverage initiatives that span jurisdictions, coverage entrepreneurs could attempt to scale up the change course of, beginning with these jurisdictions that pose the least resistance to vary and progressively accumulating pressures to increase (Mintrom, 2019; Mintrom & Luetjens, 2017). Moreover, in selling the technical feasibility of coverage alternate options (Kingdon, 1984), coverage entrepreneurs could interact in methods of main by instance. Entrepreneurs who function in formal political or administrative roles can choose to put the foundational work for a large-scale reform, or to introduce parts in a pilot format in order to construct up credibility (Petridou & Mintrom, 2021; Bakir & Gunduz, 2020; Cohen, 2012).
10Most accounts of coverage entrepreneurs’ strategic success favour company over context-driven causal explanations (Petridou & Mintrom, 2021; Bakir & Jarvis, 2017) and assume some extent of institutional stability. Scaling up and main by instance methods revolve round constructing acceptance contained in the established institutional setting; in the meantime, utilizing and increasing networks and collaborative entrepreneurial coalition-building purpose to penetrate the policymaking house to succeed in influential stakeholders. Lastly, downside framing and accompanying venue alternate options (venue buying and venue creation) depend on the relative affect of formal venues on policymaking outcomes. Our argument differs in perspective; we concentrate on a single technique – venue creation – exploring coverage entrepreneurial motion beneath circumstances of institutional instability and arguing that strategic success is contingent and context-driven.
11A lot of the insights on coverage entrepreneurship have been generated by way of purposes of public policymaking frameworks to the examine of coverage change (Petridou & Mintrom, 2021). Coverage entrepreneurs, as brokers driving coverage innovation, function inside meso- and macro-level contexts, the place outcomes are decided by way of the interaction between concepts, pursuits, and establishments (Corridor, 1993). Due to this fact, putting the examine of coverage entrepreneurial motion throughout the broader dynamics of coverage change supplies the requisite context for exploring the enabling circumstances of profitable strategizing.
12We choose to situate our argument throughout the MSF. Having been the framework by way of which the notion of coverage entrepreneurship was launched (Kingdon, 1984), the MSF has guided many of the subsequent theorizing on the strategic success of coverage entrepreneurs (Béland & Howlett, 2016; Jones et al., 2016). The framework minimizes institutional bias in assumptions as a result of it operationalizes establishments solely implicitly (Cairney & Heikkila, 2014; however see Zahariadis, 2016). In contrast with the opposite main coverage change paradigms, the MSF lies closest to the epistemological character of chaos and complexity theories, which seize our notion of fluidity (Capano, 2009). In the meantime, it diverges from the normal assumptions of uncertainty dominating policymaking (a situation that may be mitigated by boundedly rational policymakers acquiring higher info) and as a substitute is based on ambiguity, an inherently unmitigable situation, the place the instability of preferences constantly renders policymaking outcomes unpredictable (Herweg, Zahariadis & Zohlnhöfer, 2018). In consequence, the MSF is best-fitted to navigate the context of institutional fluidity that the evaluation explores.
13The MSF analyzes public coverage change by way of 5 structural parts: three unbiased and ever-flowing streams (downside, coverage, and politics), coverage entrepreneurs, and coverage home windows. Utilizing a single central speculation, the framework in the end proposes that coverage outcomes are the results of coverage entrepreneurs capitalizing on (principally) randomly occurring coverage home windows to couple the three streams by way of strategic motion (Kingdon, 1984).
14Every of the 5 structural parts is formed by a set of unbiased variables. The downside stream contains the mobilizing mechanisms that allow sure “non-ideal” social circumstances to succeed in the eye of policymakers (Herweg, Huß & Zohlnhöfer, 2015). These embrace coverage suggestions, adjustments in frequently monitored indicators, and focusing occasions (i.e., crises, symbols, and private experiences of policymakers). Drawback definition happens by way of options developed within the coverage stream, because the MSF maintains that “options chase issues” (Kingdon, 1984). The coverage stream consists of all concepts that coverage entrepreneurs talk over time. Only some of those are developed into coverage alternate options, having undergone some “softening up” to fulfill three “survival circumstances”: worth acceptability, technical feasibility, and useful resource adequacy (Kingdon, 1984). Students have argued that extra built-in coverage communities are inclined to require extra softening up for alternate options to enter the agenda, however sometimes demand much less deliberation throughout decision-making than much less built-in ones (Zahariadis, 2014). Lastly, the politics stream captures the required political dedication to proceed with coverage change. Variables within the stream embrace the nationwide temper, strain group campaigns, and administrative or legislative turnover, with every providing prospects for vetoing or facilitating coverage initiatives.
15Coverage home windows are (principally) random occurrences that permit coverage entrepreneurs to couple the three streams by way of efficient strategic motion. They open both in the issue or the politics stream when developments in a variable show to be disproportionately impactful (Herweg, Zahariadis & Zohlnhöfer, 2018). Coverage entrepreneurs have a twin function within the MSF; they flip concepts into “pet” coverage proposals by way of the mechanisms recognized within the coverage stream and interact in strategic motion (as elaborated within the earlier part) to induce stream couplings and produce coverage change (Kingdon, 1984).
16The important thing to explaining coverage change is to specify the coupling course of and the way the assorted parts work together with each other throughout open coverage home windows. An necessary piece of the puzzle is the technique used to reach effecting change. We concentrate on this facet and on one explicit technique: venue creation. We outline venue creation because the entrepreneurial technique of organising institutional preparations of finite length, predominantly within the type of committees, delegated completely with designing reforms. Venue creation is a novel idea within the literature, akin to venue buying but in addition previous it. Venue buying, which is the extra established idea, assumes that there’s a menu of venues from which coverage entrepreneurs select the one most favorable to their pet undertaking. As a result of venues incorporate institutional guidelines, selecting one venue over one other explicitly includes selecting one algorithm over one other. On this explicit case, the selection of venue implies that entrepreneurs intentionally select the “package deal” containing favorably predisposed decision-makers and viewers members and a set of governing guidelines that improve the possibilities of the choice’s enchantment. For instance, an choice proposing finances cuts to hospital care would probably discover a totally different welcome in a finances committee versus a public well being committee. The possibilities of its enchantment improve considerably if it had been debated in a finances committee. This technique of venue buying assumes that there are such committees out there in a form of menu. What if they don’t exist, or they don’t have the ability to propel or bury coverage choices?
17We posit a unique technique that will increase the probability of success in contexts of institutional instability. We hypothesize that, in settings of institutional fluidity and weak and politicized public administration, coverage entrepreneurs will probably be extra profitable in influencing coverage change after they pursue the technique of venue creation. Our argument takes one step again and assumes totally different scope circumstances. Venue buying assumes an institutionally steady menu of alternative. However in lots of nationwide settings in (not solely) creating nations, institutional stability is the exception, not the norm. For instance, in lots of Latin American nations, establishments have an effect on and are affected by policymaking instability, resulting in fixed change (Pereira, Singh & Mueller 2011). The identical has occurred in Greece (Spanou & Sotiropoulos, 2011). We outline institutional instability as frequent change within the formal/casual guidelines and within the enforcement procedures of governance (Ostrom, 1990). We’re not within the circumstances of instability (e.g., Corridor 2015), the mechanisms (e.g., Mahoney & Thelen, 2010), or the connection between institutional stability and instability (e.g., Thelen, 2012; Lindner, 2003). As a substitute, we concentrate on the affect of instability on coverage entrepreneurial methods. We acknowledge that instability could also be inefficient as a result of it will increase transaction prices by way of larger uncertainty (North, 1990), however we argue that it will probably additionally facilitate the emergence of a profitable coverage entrepreneurial technique by way of venue creation.
18We decompose instability in two dimensions: fluidity and administrative weak spot. Institutional fluidity captures the frequent change, whereas administrative weak spot conceptualizes the enforcement element. Each allow a extra profitable entrepreneurial technique of venue creation. Institutional fluidity denotes appreciable and fixed change. There are not any companies with established aims, or in instances the place there are, aims change primarily based on prevailing political winds. On this case, the method of policymaking takes sudden turns and will simply meet obstruction, develop into topic to energy asymmetries or be hampered by the associated fee or uncertainty of anticipated coverage change (Galik & Chelbi, 2021; Capoccia, 2016). Furthermore, fluidity produces institutional ambiguity – in different phrases, overlap between jurisdictions – which tends to create turf battles or oversight. Each circumstances are prone to result in coverage paralysis as one company waits for the opposite to behave, or is politically motivated to exclude the opposite from any resolution. Such circumstances favor the creation of recent venues. New venues benefit from being extremely related and particular to the issue at hand, because the companies are established with particular aims in thoughts. The brand new venue is extra prone to result in entrepreneurial success as a result of it’s tailored for the actual downside and the probably entrepreneur. Any obstacles to vary are bypassed by altering the method. Inserting the brand new venue on the middle of the method, which is a possible situation when there isn’t any established policymaking course of, facilitates the constructing of supportive coalitions. As well as, it alters present coverage networks by directing adjustments within the patterns of interplay and downside frames.
19We operationalize administrative weak spot as feeble and politicized public administration. The latter goes to the center of enforcement capability. Weak and politicized public companies allow episodic or capricious implementation by way of corruption or coercion (Rose-Ackerman, 2004). These mechanisms in flip undermine resistance to vary. Political opposition to a specific choice is muted by being excluded from the method or being purchased out by corruption. As a result of it’s a new venue, members could also be chosen on wholly political standards. In different phrases, whereas fluidity promotes entrepreneurial success by way of venue creation, administrative weak spot undermines opposition to this success. So long as the prevailing political winds dominate the method, a brand new venue will probably be prone to improve the possibilities of entrepreneurial success. It is very important observe that the brand new venue needn’t solely be the end result of a policymaker searching for to change the method; it might even be the product of advocacy by a well-connected coverage entrepreneur with political assist. To sum up, entrepreneurial success by way of new venues is extra probably beneath circumstances of institutional fluidity and weak and politicized public administration.
20Searching for to find out the circumstances for profitable coverage entrepreneurship in environments of institutional instability, we discover coverage change for public well being in Greece. The nation’s well being system contains stark contradictions. Whereas the variety of specialist docs is surprisingly excessive – leaping from 2.54 to six.10 per 1000 of inhabitants between 1980 and 2020, nearly double the OECD common of three.5 – basic practitioners are few, comprising simply 5% of the physician workforce in 2020 versus an OECD common of 23%. Extra importantly, the variety of hospital beds has been reducing yearly since 1990, standing at 4.18 per 1000 of inhabitants in 2019, lower than the OECD common of 4.40 (OECD, 2020). On the identical time, the policymaking panorama has been outlined by persistent resistance to radical change throughout coverage fields (Kazakos, 2005). The Greek well being coverage sector is populated by a steady and built-in coverage neighborhood the place “specialists with a number of roles in numerous organisations and with shut hyperlinks to political events” are a standard sighting (Spanou, 2008). Crucially, the sector suffers from perennial “implementation gaps” and intense politicization, blurring institutional and administrative continuity (Sotiropoulos, 2004).
21We look at two cases of tried coverage change in public well being in Greece: one unsuccessful in 1992 and one which was profitable in 2003. We depend on main knowledge to check our speculation. Using the MSF because the guiding framework for each knowledge assortment and evaluation, we use elite interviews, legislative paperwork (payments, parliamentary experiences, and transcripts of parliamentary deliberation), coverage analysis experiences, and unpublished drafts of alternate options shared by interviewees. Semi-structured elite interviews had been performed with 42 stakeholders who had held political or advisory roles in public well being policymaking in the course of the interval of examine. The interviews had been performed between April 2018 and February 2020. Doc evaluation adopted a qualitative template format, with knowledge categorized in keeping with the framework’s 5 structural parts and their respective sub-variables. The evaluation presents the 2 process-tracing accounts and relatively exams the speculation to attract conclusions on contingent coverage entrepreneurial success.
22To know the extraordinary politicization and institutional fluidity of the system, we have to perceive the legacy of 1983. In that 12 months, the Greek well being sector noticed a significant overhaul of its institutional panorama: “The brand new setting was based on two pillars: a number one Ministry of Well being (MoH) steering policymaking and a newly established Nationwide Well being System (NHS) encompassing the operational dimension of well being coverage” (interview with well being coverage advisor and former MoH staffer).
- 1 The President of the Parliament, Ioannis Alevras, stepped down from his put up throughout parliamentary d (…)
23Each the brand new institutional design and the stability of pursuits strongly mirrored the political priorities of the socialist get together in energy, PASOK. Having received a landslide majority election in 1981, the get together entered authorities with an agenda for radical change. In well being, PASOK’s renovative method was expressed by way of political dedication to proceed with instituting the NHS after six years of deliberation (since 1977), introducing publicly funded healthcare. In the course of the coverage’s design, the federal government discovered a useful ally with tangible long-term potential within the type of hospital docs. They’d “clear calls for for acquiring everlasting public employment standing” and, in return, had been prepared to supply their “unconditional assist and dedication to the NHS initiative” (interviews with former physician and hospital supervisor and former coverage advisor and member of reform design committees). In the meantime, in a hotly debated political alternative, the PASOK authorities opted to keep up the “inefficient system of autonomous nationwide medical insurance funds” (interview with well being economics knowledgeable and former public supervisor of well being authorities). Working beneath the supervision of the MoH and representing totally different subsets of the Greek inhabitants primarily based on occupation, the segmented insurance coverage funds largely decided the extent and high quality of main care by way of variances of their reimbursement. “Unwilling to face the political price of clashing with highly effective pursuits” and dealing with intra-party pressures1, PASOK opted to cater closely for hospital docs and to keep away from insurance coverage fund unification, shaping the political priorities of well being coverage and manifesting jurisdictional battle and ambiguity (interview with specialist physician and former well being coverage administrator).
24Along with the jurisdictional complexity and the disproportionate energy divisions, a tradition of intense politicization and undermining of public administration additionally emerged. The brand new well being coverage paradigm was based on an incremental implementation plan to mitigate the lackluster administrative capability. Nonetheless, regardless of proclamations of “rationality”, “willingness to make use of greatest practices”, and “a need to foster multidimensional and focused future coverage design”, the coverage program in the end relied on utopian expectations of long-term political dedication (interviews with: administration knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees; public well being knowledgeable and former MoH advisor; and first care knowledgeable and former well being middle supervisor). The system’s designated regional administrative devices, awaiting mandatory authorized groundwork for his or her formal institution, noticed their tasks “absorbed by (politically managed) our bodies, mostly Normal Secretariats throughout the Ministry of Well being” (interview with former Minister of Well being). Politicization additional prolonged to newly established central advisory our bodies, such because the Central Council for Well being – tasked with producing evidence-informed coverage suggestions and with drafting the Nationwide Technique for Well being – the place all members of the board had been topic to political appointment. In a mutually reinforcing loop, the shortage of robust and unbiased administrative devices more and more facilitated dominant curiosity teams in “exerting their management over the system” and reinforcing the “medicine-centric complicated” (interviews with: well being economics knowledgeable and former MoH advisor; and specialist physician and former well being authorities’ staffer).
25In 1990, a change in authorities noticed the right-wing New Democracy get together rise to energy, creating prospects of a shift in political priorities by way of legislative turnover. The big ideological distance between the left-socialist PASOK and the right-liberal New Democracy made radical shifts in coverage probably throughout all sectors. Particularly in well being, New Democracy had “strongly opposed the general public system of well being providers” (interview with former PASOK MP) in public discourse in the course of the earlier decade. On the identical time, the institution of the European Single Market, coinciding with the New Public Well being motion, exerted strain for modernization (Ashton & Seymour, 1988). Nonetheless, the general public character of the NHS loved excessive ranges of public acceptance and assist, whereas organized pursuits had been eager to keep up the established order. Finally, the political stream in 1992 was politically ripe for change however public opinion and the stability of pursuits weren’t enthusiastic concerning the prospect.
26By 1992, the nation confronted alarmingly poor ranges of public well being. Declining indicators primarily involved infectious ailments. Between 1990 and 1991 Greece noticed a 560% rise in annual instances of measles, adopted by one other 250% rise between 1991 and 1992, when 3,448 instances had been reported (WHO, 2021). In the meantime, the nation was additional affected by the worldwide illness outbreaks of the time, reporting 800 instances of AIDS between 1987 and 1993 (Abel-Smith et al., 1994). Nonetheless, with out established monitoring devices, focusing occasions would usually exchange indicators in bringing alarming epidemiological developments to mild. “Within the case of tuberculosis, it was the obligatory medical scans for refugees which introduced the menace to the floor” (interview with physician and former well being authorities’ public supervisor). Finally, speedy spreads in infectious ailments had been highlighting “the immense gaps of the state in prevention and coordinated communication” in addition to “the shortage of built-in care, i.e., the inexistence of institutional interconnectedness between main care, social drugs, and public well being” (interview with main care specialist and former Well being Council president).
27On the time, coverage suggestions was just about non-existent. Formal devices tasked with coverage analysis had been both under-functioning or awaiting institution and no exterior assessments of Greek well being coverage had taken place. Nonetheless, focusing occasions had been initiating discourse among the many coverage neighborhood concerning the sector’s issues. Unethical practices had develop into widespread, epitomized by “envelope funds” – i.e., unlawful physician “suggestions” by sufferers. The apply highlighted “the absence of checks and balances and the particular standing docs had come to get pleasure from within the Greek NHS” (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former MoH advisor). Moreover, “Unending queues at hospitals”, “individuals being handled at camp beds”, and the rise of personal spending on main care all hinted at a disproportionate and unsustainable over-spending of assets on hospital care with out substantive enhancements (interview with former staffer at MoH Secretariats).
28By the point 1992 rolled round, the issue stream confirmed that it was time for a change. Quite a few stimuli “questioned” the course of Greek well being coverage and the shortage of public well being policymaking.
29When the primary main reform of the Greek well being sector was launched in 1983, public well being was “misconceptually equated with a publicly funded system of secondary care providers” (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). Regardless of proclamations of coverage studying – with reformists explicitly stating that they tried to “replicate options of the UK NHS” – the absence of public well being experience, the medical orientation of coverage advisors, and the excessive worth positioned on public hospitals by the socialist authorities restricted the scope of focus for the brand new system (interview with administration knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). Characteristically, “the few public well being providers the nation had inherited from its democratic and authoritarian previous – resembling hygiene authorities – remained an afterthought in the course of the design of the brand new system, being briefly allotted to Prefectures, [which are] administrative our bodies with neither public well being experience nor significant institutional energy” (interview with former Regional Well being Council director).
30Within the run-up to 1992, three competing choices for well being coverage change gained traction. First, the medicine-centric choice discovered assist amongst highly effective pursuits. Favoring what was primarily the established order had been specialist medical docs, forming the majority of the Greek NHS, who capitalized on “their experience”, and who “engaged in fixed role-switching between political and administrative positions” (interview with former WHO well being coverage advisor). Second, the liberal choice of well being reform emerged among the many ideological opponents of the socialist left. “Some advocated for the abolition of the publicly funded system as an entire, whereas others proposed liberalizing personal secondary care clinics” (interview with former well being authorities’ director). Coverage entrepreneurs favoring this liberal method aligned their pursuits with the New Democracy get together. Their body of concepts was based on “delimiting the accountability of the state in defending and selling the inhabitants’s well being, extending citizen alternative in well being providers, and selling wholesome particular person life” (interview with neighborhood care knowledgeable and former MoH coverage advisor).
31Nonetheless, none of those two choices provided a viable resolution to the sector’s issues as they lacked public well being specifics. There was no “defining public well being policymaking, figuring out the sector’s institutional elements, and establishing mechanisms to foster and keep a wholesome inhabitants” (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). As a substitute, a bunch of public well being coverage entrepreneurs pushed a 3rd thought: mitigating the adversarial results of a disproportionate systemic concentrate on secondary care. “This set of coverage entrepreneurs included specialists on prevention, main care, infectious ailments, and administration” (interview with former well being authorities’ director). They advocated “eliminating inequalities in main care by way of the unification of insurance coverage funds”, continuing with “decentralization to facilitate built-in care”, establishing monitoring mechanisms on the regional and the nationwide stage, and selling prevention over therapy (interview with main care knowledgeable and former native well being middle supervisor).
32Because the passing of invoice 1397/1983, useful resource adequacy had emerged because the core criterion for concepts surviving throughout the coverage stream. Greater than merely a recurring downside, the monetary sustainability of Greek well being coverage had developed into a primary political precedence for all main events. Sadly, the significance of technical feasibility was trivialized beneath the phantasm of long-term implementation planning. All in all, amidst favorable circumstances for reform, alternate options for public well being coverage change existed throughout the coverage stream, demanding efficient strategizing by the advocating entrepreneurs to finish the merging of the streams.
33After eight years of socialist rule, a conservative get together got here to energy in 1990, opening a coverage window within the political stream. On the identical time, strain for coverage change had amassed inside the issue stream as each the failures of the coverage paradigm and the standing deficiencies in public well being had surfaced. Coverage entrepreneurs had developed proposals to enhance public well being by selling prevention by way of main care, advocating systemic integration past secondary care, and calling for a shift in the direction of a tradition of a more healthy Greek inhabitants. With all the required circumstances for change in place, reform depended solely on efficient coverage advocacy. Finally, the strategic efforts of public well being coverage entrepreneurs confronted more and more insurmountable obstacles because of the sector’s institutional fluidity with its consequent jurisdictional battle and lack of highly effective administrative devices.
34Extra particularly, strategic motion took the type of venue buying and scaling up change processes from inside, in each an remoted and a collective style. First, public well being coverage entrepreneurs sought to advance coverage proposals by way of central advisory venues, essentially the most distinguished being the Central Council for Well being. Nonetheless, regardless of being established because the chief institutional epistemic instrument, chargeable for drafting and updating the Nationwide Technique for Well being, the Council noticed its proposals “rot within the Ministry of Well being’s drawers” for almost a decade (interview with former Minister of Well being). In 1992, after New Democracy had assumed energy, the political administration characterised its standing as “a ineffective, bureaucratic instrument” (Parliament Proceedings, 1992). Second, regional venues provisioned to undertake supervisory tasks in main and public well being issues had been nonetheless awaiting implementation. Regardless of the willingness of public well being coverage entrepreneurs to pursue advocacy by way of the designated policymaking channels of invoice 1973/1983, the implementation gaps dealing with Well being Areas and Regional Well being Councils enhanced jurisdictional ambiguity and disadvantaged entrepreneurs of potential allies and favorable institutional venues. In the meantime, MoH Normal and Particular Secretariats, tasked with briefly absorbing the tasks of unimplemented devices, maintained a strictly government function. Intense politicization and frequent personnel turnover didn’t permit them to turn into venues for mid- and long-term coverage design.
35Lastly, native well being facilities, “the vanguard of main care”, had been left under-supervised, under-funded, and under-staffed (interview with main care knowledgeable). Crucially, being the one established venues with tasks for main care throughout the NHS, they served because the arenas by way of which public well being coverage entrepreneurs sought to advance change from inside. Entrepreneurs, each unilaterally and thru tacit collective motion, tried advocacy by way of enterprise managerial roles in native well being facilities. Nonetheless, selling enhanced integration and coordination with hospitals generated interest-group resistance as a result of it implied dilution of energy by including new contributors to the coverage neighborhood. Equally, the involvement of the Ministry of the Inside and the presence of autonomous insurance coverage funds within the subject of main care produced rigidity and additional vetoes on the prospect of shifting the established order.
36Venue buying proved detrimental to attaining coverage change in 1992. The contextual idiosyncrasies in the end hampered a shift within the coverage trajectory in the direction of public well being. Institutional fluidity produced the anticipated coverage paralysis. Coverage entrepreneurs proved profitable solely of their evaluation of timing, not of setting. Systemic circumstances for change had been favorable, however the mandatory affect on policymakers was by no means achieved. Politicization, implementation gaps, and institutional fluidity rendered the principles of the sport unpredictable and extremely malleable. Searching for to navigate the de jure institutional context, coverage entrepreneurs by no means reached the de facto locus of energy. However the place would that lie in such an inherently fluid system the place public well being policymaking was just about non-existent? Not one of the choices within the menu of venues through which entrepreneurs shopped in 1992 proved to be the reply.
37Finally, New Democracy handed invoice 2071/1992 as a result of inertia was out of the query for the newly elected conservatives. “Greece is a rustic the place reforms are named after Ministers; a Minister who doesn’t ship a reform, even when change is minimal, is politically stigmatized” (interview with former Minister of Well being). Regardless of the change in administration and beliefs, the laws grudgingly accepted a lot of the established order. The invoice merely re-legislated most of the unimplemented provisions of invoice 1973/1983, most prominently the division of the nation into Well being Areas and the institution of Regional Well being Councils, and in addition enhanced politicization by introducing two new Normal Secretariats as mediators between the Central Council for Well being and the MoH. Amidst growing institutional fluidity and the politicization of public well being, entrepreneurial methods did not merge the three streams whereas venue creation was not even tried. Beneath the banner of reform, the tip consequence was principally extra of the identical.
38After 1992, momentum in the issue stream elevated dramatically throughout the next decade, with indicators nonetheless highlighting Greece’s plentiful deficiencies in public well being.
39In distinction to the earlier case, suggestions emerged as an important mechanism in the issue stream in the course of the lead-up to the 2003 reform. With systemic pathogenies persisting and coverage analysis by nationwide devices remaining non-existent, “it was exterior experience that delivered the primary main coverage suggestions in 1994” (interview with infectious illness specialist and former MoH staffer). Beneath a PASOK administration – because the get together returned to energy in 1993 – the 10-year anniversary of each the Greek NHS and Greece’s bid to affix the European Single Market had been considered as milestones calling for the primary complete analysis of the nation’s well being coverage trajectory. To this finish, a Committee of Overseas Specialists, chaired by Brian Abel-Smith, was shaped by Well being Minister Dimitris Kremastinos. “The Committee labored in shut contact with nationwide specialists and visited well being coverage stakeholders and establishments across the nation” to draft the ‘Report on the Greek Well being Providers’ (Abel-Smith et al., 1994) (interview with well being coverage knowledgeable and MoH advisor). The report’s conclusions highlighted structural deficiencies in integrating and coordinating well being providers, abiding by implementation programming, addressing inequalities, assessing well being wants, understanding epidemiological profiles, and selling illness prevention. Among the many notable suggestions was that of putting in a holistic perspective to public well being the place just about all elements of policymaking ought to contribute in the direction of the promotion and safety of the inhabitants’s well being (Abel-Smith et al., 1994).
40In 2002 – and as issues remained unaddressed – suggestions complemented the enter of the Committee of Overseas Specialists. Two mass-population surveys, supervised by the World Well being Group, had been performed by the Nationwide Faculty of Public Well being, an establishment devoted to analysis and practitioner coaching, working beneath the auspices of the MoH. The experiences uncovered alarmingly low ranges of well being service responsiveness and high quality, in addition to systemic social and financial inequalities among the many inhabitants (Greek Nationwide Faculty of Public Well being, 2002).
41In parallel, indicators continued to point out main public well being deficiencies. A examine by the Medical Faculty of Athens Centre for the Examine of Well being Providers reported rises in deaths by malignant neoplasms and street accidents, a resurgence within the unfold of infectious ailments, and a rise in unhealthy inhabitants habits – together with smoking, drug use, and poor diet – between 1986 and 1996 (Tountas et al., 2009). Comparable outcomes had been communicated by the Nationwide Faculty of Public Well being, which additional underlined the fixed rise in avoidable mortality between 1980 and 2003 (Nationwide Faculty of Public Well being, 2007). “Furthermore, little one weight problems charges reached epidemic proportions by the flip of the 21st century” (interview with public well being knowledgeable). A 2003 survey concluded that greater than 40% of boys and greater than 30% of ladies in Greece had been chubby or overweight (Georgiadis & Nassis, 2007), whereas the nation was ranked second highest in Europe for little one weight problems by the Worldwide Weight problems Process Pressure throughout the identical 12 months (Jackson-Leach & Lobstein, 2006). As within the 1992 case, indicators confirmed that well being providers had been unable to deal with an more and more unhealthy Greek inhabitants.
42Lastly, focusing occasions made a distinction. Greece’s scheduled internet hosting of the 2004 Olympic Video games noticed elevated consideration paid to public well being circumstances. In 2002, the exporting of contaminated blood by the Nationwide Centre for Plasma Assortment to the EU Crimson Cross Workplace prompted a public lawyer investigation of security requirements (Kathimerini, 2002). In 2003, salmonella instances amongst members of the German workforce throughout their preparation within the Olympic Village generated doubts within the nationwide and worldwide press concerning Greece’s public well being preparedness (Hadjichristodoulou et al., 2006). In the meantime, the outbreak of the SARS-COV-1 epidemic fuelled public debate on the nation’s capability to handle the unfold. As famend epidemiologist Dimitris Trichopoulos categorically harassed on the time, “if we have now [SARS] instances in Greece, the administration of public well being will probably be examined. There are emergency efforts underway, however this might by no means cowl up for the years and years of undermining public well being providers” (Foura, 2003). Focusing occasions, together with the timing of the Olympic Video games internet hosting, had been instrumental in establishing a way of urgency for public well being reform.
43In 2003, all three variables of the issue stream highlighted the truth that long-standing coverage inertia had severely weakened the nation’s public well being system and identified the pressing want for reform.
44Exterior suggestions supplied by the Committee of Overseas Specialists proved equally necessary to the coverage stream. From 1994 to 2003, coverage entrepreneurs for public well being refined the content material of their pet proposals. Over time, a strategy of coverage studying happened (Dunlop & Radaelli, 2022) throughout the primeval soup of concepts. Public well being coverage entrepreneurs on this interval numbered 10 to fifteen people. Most had been concerned in Greek well being policymaking since 1983. They had been between 30 and 55 years previous, had health-related levels and coverage expertise as public managers in well being organizations or main care devices, had acted as advisors in the course of the shaping of pre-electoral get together packages, and a few had been related to the WHO and EU boards. Having failed of their efforts to advertise public well being providers’ improvement throughout the NHS, they noticed the holistic perspective to well being as a stimulus to broadening their focus.
45In consequence, the coverage entrepreneurs for public well being put ahead the thought of an unbiased System of Public Well being Providers. This proposal was not a part of a coordinated effort however slightly the results of entrepreneurs independently disseminating comparable coverage alternate options to these put ahead by senior get together workers and the media. Entrepreneurs for public well being argued that “efficient public well being policymaking might solely be achieved by way of establishing mechanisms of communication and coordination for a set of providers spanning coverage fields – together with prevention, main care, secondary care, post-hospital care, hygiene, the setting, the economic system, and social coverage” (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). Guaranteeing worth acceptability, they proposed that such a system exceeded the NHS jurisdictionally. Selling technical feasibility, they additional posited that the brand new system “had robust institutional foundations and would solely require the proportional improvement of its components by way of enough assets, significant policymaking powers, and established channels of interplay” (interview with main care specialist and former member of reform design committees).
46Competing with this broadened public well being method was the normal medicine-centric concept that had lengthy dominated the system. The extremely built-in neighborhood of coverage entrepreneurs throughout the NHS converged across the perception that “all issues in Greek well being coverage might be solved by way of changes to the system in place” (interview with former Minister of Well being). Their proposed alternate options provided variations on incremental institutional change to make up for long-standing implementation gaps and in addition higher monetary administration to revive sustainability. General, the scope of concepts was disassociated from radical change, as provisions resembling unifying the unbiased insurance coverage funds, curbing the disproportional funding in hospital care, and continuing with administrative reforms to delimit the MoH’s dominance had been thought-about “purple traces” by way of worth acceptability (interview with former MoH Normal Secretary).
47By 2003, an answer had emerged throughout the coverage stream, revolving across the institution of an autonomous system of public well being providers. Coverage entrepreneurs for public well being, after the failed efforts to advance such an thought by way of main care providers throughout the NHS, tailored it to keep up momentum. On the identical time, a well-integrated coalition favoring the preservation of the established order had been in place because the passing of invoice 2071/1992. These proponents of the medicine-centric perspective had capitalized on the persistence of systemic pathogenies, had engaged in fixed role-switching, and had established a regime of selling extremely softened coverage proposals. The choice of autonomy had softened up within the coverage stream however this is able to not be a straightforward struggle as these advocating the default choice, the established order, had been highly effective and effectively organized. It could in the end come right down to a good suggestion, paired with profitable strategic motion, to beat the competitors and produce coverage change.
48With out adjustments in institutional configurations in 1992, systemic structural pathogenies persevered within the Greek well being coverage sector. Main as much as 2003, institutional fluidity was manifested throughout the policymaking course of. Highly effective curiosity teams, resembling hospital docs, specialists, and insurance coverage fund representatives, “established constant casual rapport with the management of each dominant events”, fostering advert hoc relations which undermined the efficacy of established establishments (interview with former well being authorities’ director). The institution of Normal and Particular Secretariats throughout the MoH developed right into a recurring mechanism to deal with coverage wants and accommodate pursuits in a short-term “band-aid style” (interview with well being economics knowledgeable and former MoH advisor). Institutional fluidity additional elevated after elections for Prefecture Authorities had been launched in 1994 (invoice 2218/1994), producing cases the place the central authorities would talk solely with partisan regional leaders on public well being and hygiene issues. In the meantime, the advisory devices that had been strengthened throughout cases of minor coverage change – such because the jurisdictional placement of the Nationwide Faculty of Public Well being beneath the auspices of the MoH (invoice 2194/1994) – witnessed the same destiny of being undermined to that of the Central Council for Well being. Lastly, regional devices remained underdeveloped as Well being Areas solely started to take form in 2001 (invoice 2889/2001).
49Whereas institutional fluidity, centralization, and intense interest-group involvement persevered, the acceptance of the established order by New Democracy in 1992 appeared to remove the prospects of ideologically motivated shifts in coverage trajectory because the preferences of the 2 main events appeared to align. As such, PASOK’s return to energy in 1993 did not open a coverage window; it was an occasion of administrative turnover that promised no change. Nonetheless, in 2000, the re-election of PASOK Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, with a marketing campaign to modernize governance, reinvigorated hopes of structural change. Minister of Well being Alekos Papadopoulos appeared prepared to conflict with the established energy pursuits, advocating the unification of insurance coverage funds in his early agenda. Nonetheless, organized pushbacks led to the PASOK management withdrawing its backing. “The resignation of Minister Papadopoulos in 2002 over political disagreement in the end generated higher momentum for coverage change” (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). His successor, Minister Konstantinos Stefanis, was appointed beneath strain to ship reform within the midst of a public well being disaster and with the PASOK authorities agonizing over sustaining its credibility and delivering on its pre-electoral promise of modernization. Stefanis’s declarations within the EU Council of Well being Ministers in the course of the Greek Presidency about “the pandemic not serving as a trigger to train public well being coverage however as a reminder concerning the ever-present state accountability for public well being” signified a political need for change (interview with former MoH staffer).
50The political stream was ripe for reform and its urgency restricted the scope of the opposition.
51After 2000, coverage entrepreneurs essentially modified their method, aided by expertise and suggestions from the failed effort to attain coverage change in 1992. Parallel to introducing the thought of an Unbiased System of Public Well being Providers, they started establishing a definite identification as public well being specialists and pursuing direct communication with policymakers. In 2001, the general public well being coverage advocates – who, nearly of their entirety, would function the architects of the 2003 reform – aligned themselves with Minister Alekos Papadopoulos. Within the institutionally fluid Greek well being policymaking setting, “this rapport occurred in an off-the-cuff, direct style, grounded on widespread preferences” (interview with former director of Regional Well being Authorities). Searching for to capitalize on the momentum of the political stream, the specialists formed the general public well being elements of Papadopoulos’s agenda and even “informally engaged in drafting a provisional public well being invoice” earlier than the Minister’s resignation halted progress (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). Nonetheless, sustaining a transparent strategic orientation, they had been in a position to see their concepts by way of after Stefanis took the MoH helm.
52With the window of alternative opening in each the issue and the political streams – a public well being disaster on the onset of internet hosting the Olympic Video games and a brand new MoH management – coverage entrepreneurs swiftly advocated the “institution of a particular committee to design the nation’s new well being invoice” (interview with former MoH well being coverage advisor). They harassed their distinct experience and appealed to Prime Minister Simitis’s governance modernization agenda by way of their long-argued coverage plan for a brand new cross-sectoral system of public well being providers. Pursuing completely the creation of a brand new venue for reform concentrated and strengthened the picture of collective experience within the eyes of Minister Stefanis. With the setting-up of a devoted public well being reform design committee, coverage entrepreneurs had been in a position to insulate their advocacy from the long-established organized pursuits of the sector. Falling exterior their jurisdiction and body of concepts, neither the unbiased insurance coverage funds nor hospital docs got house to attempt to protect the established order. In the meantime, beneath circumstances of administrative weak spot, no different everlasting institutional instrument might declare accountability for enterprise coverage design.
53Lengthy-term undermining and historic institutional fluidity “had eradicated any expectation for proposals to be pushed by way of formal policymaking channels” (interview with public well being knowledgeable and former member of reform design committees). Utilizing efficient strategizing, the fluidity of the policymaking course of, and the absence of robust administrative devices, turned weak spot into power. Unable to search out an acceptable venue by way of which they might advance public well being reform for almost twenty years, entrepreneurs efficiently created one, setting the principles of the sport to their liking. In consequence, concepts swiftly changed into proposals and legislative provisions.
54Following the committee’s work, invoice 3172/2003 was adopted by the Greek Parliament. The laws outlined public well being policymaking as “the train of all elements of public coverage for the promotion and the safety of the inhabitants’s well being”, launched a System of Public Well being Providers spanning jurisdictions, and established that every one providers with tasks for public well being had been to offer enter for the designing and updating of the Nationwide Technique for Public Well being. After twenty years of structural deficiencies, Greek public well being coverage lastly integrated the holistic method to well being, instituting a progressive institutional framework. Radical coverage change was the results of efficient strategizing by coverage entrepreneurs, centered round understanding contextual idiosyncrasies and figuring out venue creation because the recipe for fulfillment.
Determine 1: Venue creation because the favorable strategic choice for coverage change in public well being in Greece (1992 vs 2003)
Supply: The Authors
55What implications does venue creation elevate for coverage change? We have now argued that, in settings with institutional fluidity and a weak and politicized public administration, coverage entrepreneurs will probably be extra profitable in influencing coverage change after they pursue the technique of venue creation. Utilizing the case of Greek public well being reform, we confirmed that, over three many years, the identical group of coverage entrepreneurs in public well being pursued coverage change in two cases, with essentially totally different methods in every. In a Greek well being coverage sector outlined by institutional fluidity and a weak and politicized public administration, efforts to entry and affect policymakers by way of formal institutional channels proved futile in 1992. As a substitute, and as these contextual idiosyncrasies persevered, the technique of venue creation yielded dramatically totally different leads to 2003, enabling coverage entrepreneurs to facilitate coverage change for public well being by way of invoice 3172/2003.
56Our findings illuminate doubtlessly insightful dynamics for the literature on coverage entrepreneurs. Scholarship has drawn conclusions predicated on assumptions of institutional stability. As a substitute, we argue that profitable strategizing for coverage entrepreneurs could also be extremely contingent, transferring away from company in a vacuum and bringing again context (Petridou & Mintrom, 2021; Mintrom & Norman, 2009). Whereas networking and venue navigating, by way of buying or shifting, could show essential in contexts with established policymaking processes, they will as simply trigger wasteful use of the restricted assets of coverage entrepreneurs when the required institutional circumstances are lacking. Each institutional fluidity and weak public administration are essential to our argument. The latter neutralizes most of the established strategic choices recognized within the literature by selling centralization and by isolating policymakers from the coverage neighborhood. In the meantime, the previous permits the creation of those short-term venues, with direct entry to – and affect on – policymakers, a feat that might be not possible in additional established institutional contexts. By way of each useful resource funding and coverage change – reform design committees primarily function on the highest stage of decision-making and in isolation from rivals (Johannesson & Qvist, 2020) – venue creation emerges as essentially the most favorable strategic choice, so long as it may be pursued, and so long as coverage entrepreneurs exhibit the acuity and expertise wanted to proceed with the strategic alternative.
57The conclusions have attention-grabbing implications for the MSF. Though the framework doesn’t explicitly incorporate institutional variables, contextual idiosyncrasies lend themselves to operationalization throughout the politics stream. Particularly when finding out the politics stream by way of course of tracing accounts utilizing long-term horizons, it’s the case that implementation gaps, the intra-sectoral undermining of coverage devices, and the formal and casual strengthening of particular curiosity teams, are all elements that form each political dedication and the relative affect of legislative or administrative turnover, organized exercise, and the nationwide temper throughout coverage home windows. Moreover, latest refinements to the framework have prompt the presence of separate coverage home windows for agenda-setting and decision-making (Herweg, Huß & Zohlnhöfer, 2015). In institutionally fluid programs that allow venue creation, these short-term arenas appear to immediate each agenda and resolution processes to happen concurrently. Working straight beneath political management, coverage entrepreneurs have distinctive entry to direct suggestions pertaining to each the prevailing political “winds” and to particular provisions that might maintain up a invoice in parliament. Invoice 3172/2003, as has been the case with each well being coverage laws in Greece’s historical past, handed by way of parliament with out a lot deliberation as a result of debate had already occurred in the course of the design stage. Venue-creating coverage entrepreneurs thus seem to get pleasure from even higher prospects for manipulating policymakers.
58Lastly, we draw conclusions for Greek policymaking in well being and different sectors. The recognized institutional idiosyncrasies prolong all through the nation’s policymaking panorama. The affect on coverage change is double-edged. On the one hand, a scarcity of policymaking mechanisms constantly delivers poor coverage outcomes and permits highly effective pursuits to revenue disproportionately in zero-sum eventualities because of their ranges of affect on governments. Then again, venue creation permits for radical change to happen, albeit in random remoted cases. Whereas the credibility of any new coverage is constantly being evaluated (Taylor, Zarb & Jeschke, 2021), in the end – with out potential for long-term planning and implementation programming – all change is prone to be temporally contained, making a state of affairs of fixed reform however zero change.
59Does this argument maintain for different nationwide settings sharing comparable traits? Do different contextual elements additionally drive coverage entrepreneurs to look previous formal institutional venues? It’s a analysis program with many advantages as a result of it is not going to solely affirm or amend the argument, however it’s going to additionally make clear the perennial and infrequently unsuccessful quest for reforms in institutionally fluid and administratively politicized settings throughout totally different nations.