The impact of political processes on public policies: the case of tourism policy in Madrid in the view of the Multiple Streams Framework.

Reyes Herrero


The Multiple Streams Framework approach (Kingdon: 1985; Zahariadis, 1999; Carney and Jones, 2005; Howlett et al., 2014 and 2016) provides a model for research of decision-making in complex political and institutional arenas. Instead of assuming rationality as a driving principle in decisional processes, MSF emphasizes the role of uncertainty, ambiguity and networked dynamics of actors, problems and solutions in policy making (Zahariadis 2007). There are three basic assumptions in Kingdon’s model; first, decision-makers only pay attention to a very limited list of issues (Kingdon, 1985:95); second, they will only intervene if a feasible solution exists (Kingdon, 1985:131); third, very particular and favourable circumstances (opportunity windows) are needed in order to push decisions through. The case study that this paper seeks to address in the light of MSF is that of tourism policy in Madrid. In the last years, tourism policy has turned from being relatively marginal part of urban policy into a focus of social and political attention and debate. We want to visualize and analyse the decisional environment created by the social conflict that tourism pressure and the related transformation of urban centre is stirring up. What we pretend to explore is, on the one hand, if and how networks articulate the streams of the model. On the other hand, whether networks can give account for opportunity windows and, finally, political decisions.

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