Partisanship, policy entrepreneurs and the market for ideas: what we can learn from policy failure

Matthew Laing, James Walter

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The Office of Living Victoria (OLV), was established in 2011 by the then Liberal-National Party Coalition Government. It was created in response to a water crisis and intended to revolutionise water management and delivery, challenging established authorities and practices consolidated under the previous Labor government in Victoria. There was a decidedly partisan motivation for its conception. The drive for new ideas and innovation created opportunities for policy entrepreneurs who won the competition against more conventional research advocacy, and determined the agenda of the new agency, in the process curbing an existing policy network. Yet within a short period, this initiative was mired in scandal, and ended in 2014 having failed to achieve its purposes. This article explores this instance of policy failure, assessing the policy trajectory of the OLV in relation to the concepts of partisanship, policy entrepreneurship, and policy networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • networks
  • Partisanship
  • policy advocacy
  • policy entrepreneur
  • policy failure
  • research advocacy

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