Until now research on policy fields or domains has focused mainly on their structure, and the constellation of actors and interests and less on the emergence or decline of policy fields. So far there exists only anecdotal evidence about mechanisms that drive the emergence of policy fields. In this article we argue that new policy fields can only emerge if two processes interact: politicization and individuation. If one of these two dimensions is missing this leads to administrative-technocratic or political usurpation or to differentiation of existing regulations and institutions, but not to the emergence of a new policy field. We illustrate this rare case by analyzing the contradictory dynamics in relation to “Netzpolitik” (internet politics) in Germany over the last 20 years.
Haunss, Sebastian, Hofmann, Jeanette: Entstehung von Politikfeldern – Bedingungen einer Anomalie [Article link, German], der moderne staat – Zeitschrift für Public Policy, Recht und Management, 1, 29 – 49.