Aleksandra Kovac

This project studies the case of establishing a new Faculty of Medicine at the University of Maribor, Slovenia, to answer the following research question:

What were the policy processes of establishing the new Faculty of Medicine in Maribor and how can one explain the outcomes of these processes?

The research model combines Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis Development Framework (IAD) and Teisman’s Rounds Model. The analysis focuses on actors and their interactions to produce outcomes. The complex policy process of establishing a new medical faculty is disentangled into five policy rounds. Each of the rounds can be further broken down into smaller units of analysis, like action arenas and – within them – action situations. Of particular interest are actors, their motivations and their strategic actions, which are guided by their institutional settings that are composed of a complex set of rules and some other variables defined by the IAD. All these elements influence the policy processes in the various rounds, arenas and situations. 

Practitioners can learn how various strategic actors design and prioritise a national policy goal from a bottom-up initiative. By using their strategic capabilities, such as a strong motivation, clear goal orientation, the strategic use of social and financial resources and strategic alliances, it is possible to overcome strong political opposition, e.g. caused by a monopoly.  

The study demonstrates applicability of the IAD and Round’s model to analytically describe in great detail the policy process of decision-making even though it fails to explain why actors chose particular actions. To overcome this drawback of the IAD and Round’s model we added the concept of Behaviour assumptions, rational choice theory and we put a strong focus on motivation.

Researcher involved: Aleksandra Kovac