Michael Mintrom

Monash University
Australia and New Zealand School of Government

Australia and New Zealand School of Government
PO Box 230, Carlton South
Melbourne, Victoria
m.mintrom@anzsog.edu.au |  Visit Personal Website

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Michael Mintrom's research explores elements of policy entrepreneurship and the diffusion of policy innovations. His studies have frequently been grounded in assessments of contemporary educational reforms. Michael is presently exploring aspects of political leadership as they influence policy and organizational design. Substantively, the focus is on local institutional structures that support engagement with the global knowledge economy. Approaches to undertaking policy analysis are another theme in Michael's work. He intends to keep working over the coming years on documenting effective approaches to undertaking contemporary policy analysis.

Michael Mintrom. 2012. Contemporary Policy Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press).
Abstract: A groundbreaking interpretation of the field, Contemporary Policy Analysis offers a state-of-the art look at what policy analysts do and how they can make the world a better place. The book is an indispensable resource for experienced policy analysts and an ideal core text for upper-level undergraduate and first-year graduate courses in policy analysis. Contemporary Policy Analysis works from a project orientation, providing a thorough and nontechnical overview of the key concepts and analytical strategies employed by policy analysts. Opening with coverage of what policy analysts do, what governments do, and government policy objectives, the first section of the book then discusses how to manage policy projects, present policy advice, and perform ethical policy analysis. The second section presents a set of core analytical strategies, featuring chapters on the analysis of markets, market failure, government failure, comparative institutional analysis, cost-benefit analysis, implementation analysis, and--unique to this survey--gender analysis and race analysis. Each of these strategy chapters includes a step-by-step guide to performing the analysis, incorporating an example from the policy literature that follows the steps and shows how the strategy can illuminate current policy issues. In addition, the chapters are enhanced by exercises and suggestions for class projects and policy research seminars.
URL: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Policy-Analysis-Michael-Mintrom/dp/0199730962/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415429201&sr=8-1&keywords=mintrom+contemporary
Michael Mintrom. 2014. “Creating Cultures of Excellence: Strategies and Outcomes.” Cogent Education 1 (1):1-15.
Abstract: Research findings on effective support for learning, the development of expertise, and the psychology of success suggest that the pursuit of excellence is teachable. Within the emerging field of research and practice termed “the scholarship of teaching and learning,” considerable effort has been made to document the practices of teachers who, by various measures, have been deemed excellent. In contrast, no effort has been made to codify how students can be trained to self-consciously build behaviors that generate excellent outcomes. This article reports on a multi-year effort to create cultures of excellence among cohorts of graduate students. A statistical analysis of subsequent student performance on a significant, related task indicates that explicitly promoting a culture of excellence among course participants can have a positive and sustained impact on their individual practices. Comments from subsequent student reflections further support this claim. The teaching strategies reported here could be refined, replicated, and reinvented to good effect across higher education. They are also of special relevance to those delivering professional development training to early- and mid-career professionals.
DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2014.934084#.VFy0-DSUfng
Michael Mintrom, Chris Salisbury, and Joannah Luetjens. 2014. “Policy Entrepreneurs and the Promotion of Australian State Knowledge Economies.” Australian Journal of Political Science 49 (3):423-438.
Abstract: Policy entrepreneurs seek to shift the status quo in given areas of public policy. In doing so, they work closely with others, and their activities call for high levels of political skill. This article examines the actions of policy entrepreneurs who promoted the development of knowledge economies in two Australian states: Queensland and Victoria. During the past two decades, national and sub-national governments around the world have sought to nurture knowledge economies within their borders. Our analysis of knowledge economy advocacy improves understanding of how specific individuals – as strategic team builders – can promote major policy change. This focus on team work and coalition-building as central elements of the process of policy entrepreneurship offers a corrective to some earlier studies that inappropriately conferred lone hero status to policy entrepreneurs.
DOI: 10.1080/10361146.2014.934657
Michael Mintrom. 2013. “Policy Entrepreneurs and Controversial Science: Governing Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.” Journal of European Public Policy 20:442-457.
Abstract: Policy entrepreneurs are political actors who seek policy changes that shift the status quo in given areas of public policy. This contribution examines the actions of policy entrepreneurs who have sought government funding and favourable regulation to advance human embryonic stem cell research. Those policy entrepreneurs have faced significant opposition owing to the morality issues at stake. Placing the actions of those policy entrepreneurs in a broader context makes two contributions. First, it explores how policy entrepreneurs pursue their goals in the face of intense morality politics. Second, it illustrates how the work of policy entrepreneurs can be both supported and inhibited by ideas, institutions and interest-group politics.
DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2012.761514
Andrew Gunn and Michael Mintrom. 2013. “Global University Alliances and the Creation of Collaborative Advantage.” Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 35:179-192.
Abstract: The past two decades have seen the development of many global university alliances. Some alliances have taken a bilateral form, others are multilateral. In a period of increasing competition among universities, such alliances represent a curious form of cooperation. They have become more common just as global competition for academic talent has been increasing, rankings of universities have become more sophisticated, and universities have sought to attract high fee-paying international students. When does cooperation make sense? What opportunities and risks do alliances present to their members? These questions are considered with reference to three global alliances: The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), Universitas 21 (U21), and the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). We conclude that multilateral, global university alliances represent valuable resources for ambitious, change-oriented university leaders.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2013.775926
Michael Mintrom, 2009. "Competitive Federalism and the Governance of Controversial Science." Publius: The Journal of Federalism 39: 606-631.
Abstract: Tensions between the United States government and state governments increased during the Bush Administration, 2001–2008. Blame was typically placed on the Administration's conservative policy preferences. This article analyzes how the issue of stem cell research was managed during those years in Washington, DC and how the states responded. The case highlights contradictions in the Bush Administration's brand of conservatism, how this promoted interstate competition, and why state governments had to wrestle with major policy dilemmas. Concerns surrounding moral principles, scientific progress, and economic competitiveness produced a patchwork of state funding and regulatory regimes. That outcome has not been ideal from several perspectives. Advances in biotechnology and other controversial areas of science will force future national and state governments to confront similar policymaking challenges.
DOI: 10.1093/publius/pjn033
Michael Mintrom. 2009. "Universities in the Knowledge Economy: A Comparative Analysis of Nested Institutions." Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 11: 327-353.
Abstract: Knowledge generation can catalyze local, regional, and national economic development. In the globalizing economy, governments are increasingly treating universities as strategic resources, and changing their policies towards them accordingly. In this article, universities are portrayed as organizations nested within broader institutional structures. A comparative analysis of nested institutions is presented. Changes in the ideas and actions of stakeholders concerning the role of universities are compared across five countries - the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. The focus is placed on universities operating in an economically dynamic sub-region in each country. Attention is given to how different levels of government promote or inhibit innovative actions by universities and the organizations they partner with to commercialize research. Efforts to create regional knowledge economies effectively linked to the global marketplace are shown to have generated a range of tensions and dilemmas. Themes highlighted in this study are expected to emerge in discussions everywhere concerning the evolving role of universities in society.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13876980903221072
Michael Mintrom and Phillipa Norman. 2009. "Policy Entrepreneurship and Policy Change." Policy Studies Journal 37:649-667.
Abstract: This article reviews the concept of policy entrepreneurship and its use in explaining policy change. Although the activities of policy entrepreneurs have received close attention in several studies, the concept of policy entrepreneurship is yet to be broadly integrated within analyses of policy change. To facilitate more integration of the concept, we here show how policy entrepreneurship can be understood within more encompassing theorizations of policy change: incrementalism, policy streams, institutionalism, punctuated equilibrium, and advocacy coalitions. Recent applications of policy entrepreneurship as a key explanation of policy change are presented as models for future work. Room exists for further conceptual development and empirical testing concerning policy entrepreneurship. Such work could be undertaken in studies of contemporary and historical policy change.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-0072.2009.00329.x/abstract

Substantive Focus:
Education Policy SECONDARY
Science and Technology Policy
Comparative Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY