A quiet revolution or a flashy blip? The real ID Act and U.S. national identification system reform

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1078
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act despite decades of stalemate in reforming the U.S. national ID system. Using John Kingdon's policy streams framework, the authors examine the development of reform ideas, the opening of a policy window and the shift in the national mood after the 9/11 attacks, and the legislative tactics by the George W. Bush administration that led to the passage of the act. The analysis illustrates the significance of policy entrepreneurship in national crises but also raises questions about the permanency of policy reforms and the ethical responsibilities of public administrators in such times. © 2008 The American Society for Public Administration.

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