A Comparative Analysis of How Actors Implement: Testing the Contextual Interaction Theory in 48 Cases of Wetland Restoration

Katharine A. Owens, Johannes T.A. Bressers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper applies a two-actor, causal, deductive theory of implementation (the contextual interaction theory) to analyze 48 wetland restoration cases. The theory uses motivation, information, and power of the policy implementer and target to predict the nature of the implementation process (e.g. cooperation, obstruction, etc.). The research question centers on the predictability potential of the contextual interaction theory. It asks if the theory accurately predicts process interactions, based on the quantification of actor motivation, information, and power. In the analysis, a strong correlation was found between expected and observed results, or a high predictability potential. To overcome limitations, a formula version was also tested using a correlation design. These results did not produce an equivalent fit. One explanation is that implementation entails threshold values in the core variables, and a broad neutral category that fails to influence action in the same manner. This theory is found to be a useful tool for consistent, comparative, and replicable analyses that should be applied more broadly in implementation studies to better understand its strengths and limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-219
JournalJournal of comparative policy analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013



  • METIS-296633
  • IR-86234

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