Explaining policy deadlock: the case of Sarkozy’s integration policy

Anna Mckeever

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What processes account for the deadlock in a given policy? While causes and mechanisms of policy change have been extensively researched, this paper sheds light on how formal institutional change can lead to policy deadlock. This paper examines two cases that demonstrate the absence of progress on integration policy during Sarkozy’s time in office (as a Minister of the Interior and as a president). Drawing on elite interviews, the paper points out how institutional change can lead to departmental competition within new or combined structures, leading to policy deadlock, as new layered actors do not always have the capacity to push old ones out, resulting in further institutional change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalFrench Politics
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Limited.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Causal mechanisms
  • Institutionalism
  • Integration policy
  • Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Policy deadlock


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