Lost in Translation Forever: Implementation of sustainable mobility in an era of governance and New Public Management

Tomas Bergström

This paper describes the development of implementation theory in an era of “governance” and new management ideas, often labeled New Public Management. The paper gives a presentation of some general concerns raised by the IMplementation Paths for ACTion towards sustainable mobility (IMPACT) program, that is how measures aiming at sustainable solutions could be implemented within the transport sector. Implementation is in focus but is dealt with from three different aspects in the initial stages of the program. First, and this is the main focus of this paper, the developments within implementation research are analyzed. What has happened since the early 1970’s in theory and practice that leads us to reconsider the ways we understand implementation in theory but also the advice we could offer to decision makers? Secondly, in another paper the special context of transport is discussed. What, if anything, is different about implementing policies etc in the transport sector? Lastly, the implications of implementation of sustainability as such are discussed in yet another paper. What special difficulties are involved if the “thing” to be implemented is such a notoriously vague concept?

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