The International Journal of Restorative Justice


How did restorative justice get onto the government agenda, and why does its implementation differ? A multiple streams approach

Keywords agenda-setting, government agenda, Multiple Streams Framework, policy implementation, restorative justice
Authors Verónica Viñas, Helena Soleto en Belén Hernández Moura
Author's information

Verónica Viñas
Verónica Viñas, Associate Professor, Social Science,Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.

Helena Soleto
Helena Soleto, Full Professor, Criminal Law, Procedural Law and History of Law, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.

Belén Hernández Moura
Belén Hernández Moura, Assistant professor,Criminal Law, Procedural Law and History of Law, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain. Corresponding author:
  • Abstract

      Restorative justice has resulted from a paradigm shift in the way criminal conflicts are dealt with. It involves achieving the pacification of the conflict while meeting the needs of victims, offenders and society, through dialogue. This article applies the multiple streams framework (MSF) to analyse how and why restorative justice got onto the government agenda in Western European countries. It also applies the novel theoretical adaptation of the MSF to analyse why restorative justice implementation is uneven across Western European countries and even within countries. The study shows that the generalised dissatisfaction of citizens with the traditional criminal justice system, their empowerment and the performance of policy entrepreneurs constituted a favourable context for restorative justice to get onto the government agenda. The findings underline that the MSF provides a useful lens through which to examine the complexity and dynamics of restorative justice policymaking and implementation processes.

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