A Critical Assessment of the Value of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Public Policy Implementation Theories, with Reference to the Case of Implementation of Passport Seva: An eGovernance Policy in India

AuthorK. Balamurugan
DOI10.1177/00195561211051517
Date01 December 2021
Publication Date01 December 2021
SubjectArticles
A Critical Assessment
of the Value of Top-Down
and Bottom-Up Public
Policy Implementation
Theories, with Reference to
the Case of Implementation
of Passport Seva:
An eGovernance Policy
in India
K. Balamurugan1
Abstract
What are the challenges in public policy processes? Why do some critical public
problems not carry to the agenda-setting of policy-making, or even if carried, they
fail during implementation? One of the responses to these queries is that policy-
making often happens in a complex, dynamic, sociopolitical environment where
there are overarching structures above the policy makers and there are compet-
ing actors, ideas, groups, policy networks, institutions and policy subsystem that
interact with unequal power and conflicting interests (Sanderson, 2009). It is thus
realised that the systematic study of public policy is significant for bringing progres-
sive change in society. Hence it is required to build new knowledge and to improve
upon the working of public policy. This article will study the value of the top down
and bottom up theories in the case of implementation of a new eGovernance
policy on passport issuance in India. The findings are that due to resistance from
different stakeholders, the project could be implemented only after certain bot-
tom up changes to the policy along with change management strategies.
Keywords
eGovernance, change management, passport seva project, top-down and
bottom-up theories
Article
Indian Journal of Public
Administration
67(4) 525–539, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
in.sagepub.com/journals-permissions-india
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211051517
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1 Chief Environment Officer, Government of West Bengal, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Corresponding author:
K. Balamurugan, IFS, Chief Environment Officer, Department of Environment, 5th Floor, Pranisampad
Bhawan, Block LB-II, Salt Lake, Sector III, Bidhannagar, Kolkata 700106, West Bengal, India.
E-mail: bala_hort@yahoo.com

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