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IVAROLA, Leonardo. Invariant causal factors in the social sciences and its importance for policy implementation. A critique. Sig. Fil [online]. 2016, vol.18, n.35, pp.52-81. ISSN 1665-1324.

Traditional manipulabilistic accounts consider that an effective policy implementation must be grounded on an invariant knowledge. This mode of thought is based on the ontological assumption that there are stable causal factors, both in the natural and in the social sciences. They also assume that only the ex-ante intervention is relevant for an effective implementation. In this article a critique of these approaches is carried out. In particular, it is shown that social processes do not fit into the logic of stable causal factors like mechanisms or nomological machines, but they are more suited to the logic of possibility trees or open-ended-results. On the basis of this ontological variation it will be argued that rather than seeking the support of an effective policy in a knowledge of invariant factors, it must be sought in the explicit constraints of a blueprint and in their feasibility of being satisfied in the target system. Furthermore, it will be shown that typical ex-ante interventions are not appropriate in the social realm. On the contrary, and in order to correct any kind of contingencies in a social process, interventions must be systematic.

Keywords : policy implementation; open-ended-results; social processes; invariance.

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