Half a Century of “Muddling”: Are We There Yet?
Series/Report no.Policy and Society;Vol.30 No.1
Half a century after the publication of Lindblom's seminal article “The Science of Muddling Through”, we revisit the heritage of incrementalism in this special issue, analyzing its legacy in public policy and public administration. The articles discuss the extent to which recent theoretical developments have transformed the original idea, reinforced it, or possibly rendered it obsolete. In this introductory article, we provide a short overview over the core elements of incrementalism and assess how the concept is used in scholarly publications and research today. We thereby focus on incrementalism as an analytical concept rather then a prescriptive theory. We argue that even after a half a century of “muddling”, we are not yet through with incrementalism. Some of the ideas that underpin the concept of incrementalism continue to drive research, often in combination with more recent theoretical approaches to the policy process. After half a century, incrementalism is still part of the policy scholar's tool kit.
Rothmayr Allison Christine & Denis Saint-Martin. 2011. "Half a century of “muddling”: Are we there yet?". Policy and Society Vol.30 No.1: 1-8.