Work on the crucial subject of policy and program implementation was once a central preoccupation among scholars and students of public affairs and public policy. Today it remains so—despite first-glance assessments that interest in the subject may have declined. Indeed, the relevant studies during the past decade or so number well over a thousand (Moulton, Roll, and Sandfort forthcoming; Saetren 2014). A journal, Implementation Science, was founded in 2006, although its narrow jurisdiction (“routine healthcare”) and relative neglect of the broader implementation universe sometimes seems to signal a reinvention of the proverbial wheel, albeit in an important domain.

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Much of the relevant recent research, unfortunately for those interested in general implementation theory and practice, is published in...

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