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Hierarchy or Network? : Legislative Analysis to Ascertain the Policy Implementation Structure of Korean Central Government

  • Korean Society and Public Administration
  • Abbr : KSPA
  • 2012, 23(3), pp.63-86
  • Publisher : Seoul Association For Public Administration
  • Research Area : Social Science > Public Administration

송성화 1 Young-Han Chun 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In recent years, it has been increasingly argued that the public policy implementation structures are changing from hierarchies to network structures. However, some scholars have questioned this argument, observing that policy implementation networks are the exception, not the rule. To provide an empirical contribution to this debate, this study analyzes 250 acts that were legislated in two periods; the 11th Korean National Assembly (1981-1985) and the 17th Korean National Assembly (2004-2008). The results reveal that the formal policy implementation structures in Korea are dominated by multi-actor network structures, rather than single-actor hierarchical structures. However, there is little evidence that multi-actor network structures are becoming predominant. Another finding demonstrates that the actual policy implementation networks in Korea tend to consist of actors from inside the public sector, rather than inter-sectoral networks between the public and private sector. Finally, the results support the observation that implementation structures in Korean government vary according to the policy area. The major implication of this study is that while the evidence generally supports the dominance of multi-actor network structure in Korean policy implementation, the landscape of policy implementation is much more complex in reality than the hierarchy-network dichotomy.

Citation status

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