chapter  6
24 Pages

6The administrative context of wetland regulation

To speak of the “context” of anything, then, is typically to refer to something at the same level of analysis or abstraction as whatever may be “contextualized.”

(Fred W. Riggs, 1980, p. 107)

Throughout his five decades of scholarship on the subject, the prolific and fastidious comparative analyst Fred Riggs encouraged three generations of public policy analysts to keep a tidy analytical ship when discussing a bureaucratic program’s environment (Riggs, 1961, 1975, 1980, 1997, 2002). His constant voice of reason drove home the importance of administrative context to a program’s “implementability” (O’Toole and Montjoy, 1984). As implementation theory and terminology evolved, the spirit of Riggs’ recommendations was incorporated to varying degrees through the inclusion of other organizations in descriptions of a central agent’s task environment (Van Meter and Van Horn, 1975; Sabatier and Mazmanian, 1979; Hjern and Porter, 1981; O’Toole and Montjoy, 1984; Lester and Lombard, 1990).