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Handbook of Critical Policy Studies

Edited by Frank Fischer, Humboldt University, Germany and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, US, Douglas Torgerson, Trent University, Canada, Anna Durnová, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria and Michael Orsini, University of Ottawa, Canada
Critical policy studies, as illustrated in this Handbook, challenges the conventional approaches public policy inquiry. But it offers important innovations as well, in particular its focus on discursive politics, policy argumentation and deliberation, and interpretive modes of analysis.
Extent: 544 pp
Hardback Price: $240.00 Web: $216.00
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 234 5
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $65.00 Web: $52.00
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78811 210 9
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  • Business and Management
  • Critical Management Studies
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Regulation and Governance
  • Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Research Methods
Critical policy studies, as this volume illustrates, challenges conventional approaches to public policy inquiry with its focus on discursive politics, policy argumentation and deliberation, and interpretive modes of analysis. Assembling the voices of established and emerging scholars, the Handbook of Critical Policy Studies fills a major gap in the policy literature.

Moving beyond the false neutrality of empiricism and positivism, this Handbook highlights the responsibility of inquirers to take account of social and political context – including present conditions, past trends and prevailing power relationships – to advance inquiry that relies not only on experts but also on citizens in a manner supporting and encouraging democracy. Not only does this call for a reconsideration of the interplay of qualitative and quantitative methods but also for robust attention to the role of values.

Accessible to scholars, practitioners and students alike, the book offers a compilation of new critical work that both assesses past developments and appraises emerging issues.
‘This work offers a useful resource for graduate students and scholars striving to enhance their grasp of what policy analysts are doing. Summing Up: Recommended.’
– R. Heineman, Choice

‘This uniquely focused Handbook teems with deeply insightful reflections about knowledge and politics in public policy studies. Using cultural, historical, poststructural, constructionist and interpretive approaches to public policy inquiry, the chapters’ engaging authors are unfailingly attentive to both old presuppositions and new conceptualizations. Reading this collection brings to awareness the urgency of more democracy and more practicality in the generation of policy knowledge. Neutral expertise, objective research, the supposed fact–value dichotomy and unexamined power arrangements earn critical attention in several chapters. Context, narrative, emotion, and communication also appear as occasional themes in these 25 well-written and highly intelligent essays.’
– Hugh T. Miller, Florida Atlantic University, US and author of Governing Narratives: Symbolic Politics and Policy Change

‘The Handbook of Critical Policy Studies is a significant work that pulls together state-of-the-art research and thinking about policymaking as it happens in the real world. It provides easy-to-read summaries of the theories underpinning the field, and illustrates these debates in relation to important and topical policy concerns from around the world. The book will be an invaluable help to students from disciplines such as politics, sociology, anthropology and geography who wish to undertake policy-relevant research and learning.’
– Tom Forsyth, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

‘The editors and the contributors have produced what can only be described as the definitive guide to the growing field of critical policy studies. It is comprehensive and well written and will be welcomed by all students and practitioners of public policy and policy analysis. No personal or institutional library would be complete without it!’
– Wayne Parsons, Cardiff University, UK

‘This comprehensive Handbook, with contributions from leading figures in the field, is a valuable source of information on practical and theoretical aspects of critical policy studies, its argumentative and deliberative turn and its methods of analysis which is likely to stimulate further debate on the big issues in the study and analysis of policy.’
– Norman Fairclough, Lancaster University, UK

‘The field of critical policy studies goes from strength to strength, and this Handbook provides a much-needed review that will be essential reading for scholars, students and practitioners. It is at the same time a critical introduction for those new to the field (including those coming from more conventional approaches to public policy), a comprehensive reference book for people in the field and a guide to emerging issues and challenges in the study of the communicative practice of public policy.’
– John Dryzek, University of Canberra, Australia
Contributors: H. Åm, M.R. Banjade, M. Barbehön, K. Braun, V. Dubois, A. Durnovà, L. Elgert, S.A. Ercan, S.S. Fainstein, F. Fischer, S. Griggs, D. Howarth, H. Ingram, B. Jessop, S. Jin Park, W. Lamping, R.P. Lejano, E. Lövbrand, T.W. Luke, R.F. Mendonca, S. Münch, H.R. Ojha, M. Orsini, S.J. Park, S. Paterson, D. Plehwe, T. Saretzki, F. Scala, V.A. Schmidt, A.L. Schneider, K.K. Shrestha, H. Strassheim, J. Stripple, N.-L. Sum, D. Torgerson, H. Wagenaar, D. Yanow

Contents:

1. Introduction to Critical Policy Studies
Frank Fischer, Douglas Torgerson, Anna Durnovà and Michael Orsini

PART I ORIGINS AND THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT: FROM LASSWELL TO HABERMAS AND FOUCAULT
2. Harold D. Lasswell and Critical Policy Studies: The Threats and Temptations of Power
Douglas Torgerson

3. In Pursuit of Usable Knowledge: Critical Policy Analysis and the Argumentative Turn
Frank Fischer

4. Habermas, Critical Theory and Public Policy
Thomas Saretzki

5. Foucault and Critical Policy Studies
Eva Lövbrand and Johannes Stripple

PART II THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES: CRITICAL REFLEXIVITY, HEGEMONY AND POWER
6. Poststructuralist Discourse Theory and Critical Policy Studies: Interests, Identities and Policy Change
David Howarth and Steven Griggs

7. Cultural Political Economy and Critical Policy Studies: Developing a Critique of Domination
Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop

8. The Interpretation of Power
Timothy W. Luke

PART III DISCURSIVE POLITICS: DELIBERATION, JUSTICE, PROTEST AND EMOTION
9. Discursive Institutionalism: Understanding Policy in Context
Vivien A. Schmidt

10. Social Justice and Urban Policy Deliberation: Balancing the Discourses of Democracy, Diversity and Equity
Susan S. Fainstein

11. Deliberation and Protest: Revealing the Deliberative Potential of Protest Movements in Turkey and Brazil
Ricardo Fabrino Mendonça and Selen A. Ercan

12. Lost in Translation: Expressing Emotion in Policy Deliberation
Anna Durnová

PART IV. POLICY PROCESSES: PROBLEM DEFINITIONS, EVIDENCE AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION
13. Problem Definition and Agenda-Setting in Critical Perspective
Marlon Barbehön, Sybille Münch and Wolfram Lamping

14. Making Distinctions: The Social Construction of Target Populations
Helen Ingram and Ann L. Schneider

15. The Autopoietic Text
Raul P. Lejano and Sung Jin Park

16. Co-Production and Public Policy: Evidence, Uncertainty and Socio-materiality
Heidrun Åm

PART V. THE POLITICS OF POLICY EXPERTISE: KNOWLEDGE, THINK TANKS, AND ACTION RESEARCH
17. Politics and Policy Expertise: Towards a Political Epistemology
Holger Strassheim

18. Global Governance and Sustainability Indicators: The Politics of Expert Knowledge
Laureen Elgert

19. The Politics of Policy Think Tanks: Organizing Expertise, Legitimacy, and Counter-Expertise in Policy Networks
Dieter Plehwe

20. Critical Action Research and Social Movements: Revitalizing Participation and Deliberation for Democratic Empowerment
Hemant R. Ojha, Mani R. Banjade and Krishna K. Shrestha

PART VI. METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: INTERPRETATION, FRAMING, AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS
21. Making Sense of Policy Practices: Interpretation and Meaning
Dvora Yanow

22. Transforming Perspectives: The Critical Functions of Interpretive Policy Analysis
Hendrik Wagenaar

23. Between Representation and Narration: Analyzing Policy Frames
Kathrin Braun

24. Critical Policy Ethnography
Vincent Dubois

25. Making Gender Visible: Feminist Perspectives Through the Case of Anti-Smoking Policy
Stephanie Paterson and Francesca Scala

Index