The anatomy of institutions: diagnosing the formation of legal rules
The explanation for the outcomes of environmental policies is often sought either in policy design or in the behaviour of street-level bureaucrats, thus tending to examine only one level of the policy process and neglecting its multi-level nested nature. Specifically, most of the studies omit addressing policy specification, which is located between design and adoption of primary legislation and the actions of public service workers. Considering the policy process as a multi-level nested process of shaping and carrying out legal rules, this paper uses an institutional economics approach and the institutional grammar tool for its analysis. Using the example of the Ukrainian soil protection policy, it examines the way legal rules are being co-created and the policy objectives shaped at the policy specification stage and discusses the implications for the discretion of street-level bureaucrats, behaviour of the policy target group, and soil protection. The results of the study reveal that the desired outcomes of the Ukrainian soil protection policy are undermined because many institutional statements written in primary legislation are not supported by the expectation of remedy in case of non-compliance and are therefore dysfunctional.