Soft policy implementation: What are the real measures and how do teachers perceive the policy?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


“Soft” policy has newly emerged as a policy implementation concept in relation to governance. Carried with a character of non-binding, it is designed for multilevel systems of governance where there is relative autonomy at different levels of collective decision-making. Originally “soft” policy was used in the field of international law or international relations and has recently been used in relation to European Union Policy. In the field of education, “soft” policy has gained attention since the adoption of different scales of education reforms in various countries that involved the governance and coordination among multilevel systems during the past decade. In real practice, “soft” methods or measures were used to assist implementation at various levels, particularly in the real contexts. According to Ahonen’s typology of soft policy-making methods (2001), the present study will explore how “soft” policy has been realized in the recent large-scale curriculum reform in Hong Kong. In particular, the study will explore how school teachers perceive these “soft” methods or measures in their school contexts. Implications will be drawn from these real cases of “soft” policy implementation as well.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008


policy implementation
multi-level system
collective decision
international law
international relations
Hong Kong
decision making


Chan, J. K.-S. (2008, September). "Soft" policy implementation: What are the real measures and how do teachers perceive the policy? Paper presented at the International Conference on Educational Research (ICER) 2008: Learning Communities for Sustainable Development, Khon Kaen, Thailand.