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Context in Public Policy and Management

The Missing Link? Edited by the Late Christopher Pollitt, formerly Emeritus Professor, Public Governance Institute, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
‘Putting into context’ is a very common phrase – both in the social sciences and beyond. But what exactly do we mean by this, and how do we do it?

In this book, leading scholars in public policy and management tackle these issues. They show how ideas of context are central to a range of theories and explanations and use an international range of case studies to exemplify context-based explanation. The book uncovers the complexity that lies behind an apparently simple notion, and offers a variety of approaches to decipher that complexity. Context is indeed a missing link, which enables us to make sense of the vital relationship between the general and the particular.
Extent: 464 pp
Hardback Price: $180.00 Web: $162.00
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78195 513 0
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Public Management
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Administration and Management
  • Public Policy
‘Putting into context’ is a very common phrase – both in the social sciences and beyond. But what exactly do we mean by this, and how do we do it?

In this book, leading scholars in public policy and management tackle these issues. They show how ideas of context are central to a range of theories and explanations and use an international range of case studies to exemplify context-based explanation. The book uncovers the complexity that lies behind an apparently simple notion, and offers a variety of approaches to decipher that complexity. Context is indeed a missing link, which enables us to make sense of the vital relationship between the general and the particular.

Context in Public Policy and Management will prove insightful to academics, as well as to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in government, public policy, public management, public administration and political science.
Contributors: P. Ahonen, E.M. Berman, M. Bevir, J. Birchall, G. Bouckaert, T. Bovaird, D.-y. Chen, T. Christensen, J. Clarke, J. Edelenbos, J. Halligan, C. Hood, E.-H. Klijn, P. Lægreid, J. Lonsdale, G. Nasi, J. Newman, E. Ongaro, S.P. Osborne, B.G. Peters, J. Pierre, C. Pollitt, I. Proeller, Z. Radnor, R.A.W. Rhodes, F. Rugge, V. Sierra, R. Stillman, T. Virtanen, T. Ysa
Contents:

Preface: Context – a Missing Link?
Christopher Pollitt

PART I: FRAMING AND UNDERSTANDING
1. Context in the Context – Missing the Missing Links in the Field of Public Administration
Turo Virtanen

2. Contexts: Forms of Agency and Action
John Clarke

3. Constituting Context?
Janet Newman

4. The Intransigent Context: Glimpses at the History of a Problem
Fabio Rugge

5. Three Visions of Context as History
Mark Bevir and Rod Rhodes

6. Numbers in Context: Applying Frege’s Principles to Public Administration
Geert Bouckaert

First Link
Christopher Pollitt

PART II: PUTTING CONTEXT INTO THEORY (AND THEORY INTO CONTEXT)
7. Institution in Context, and as Context
B. Guy Peters

8. Can Cultural Theory Give us a Handle on the Difference Context Makes to Management by Numbers?
Christopher Hood

9. Context, Theory and Rationality: An Uneasy Relationship?
Jon Pierre

10. Contexts and Administrative Reforms: A Transformative Approach
Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid

11. Context in Public Policy: Implications of Complexity Theory
Tony Bovaird

12. The Service-Dominant Context of Public Services: A Suitable Case for Treatment?
Stephen P. Osborne, Greta Nasi and Zoe Radnor

13. Explaining Contextual Influences on the Dynamics of Public Management Reforms: Reflections on Some Ways Forward
Edoardo Ongaro

Second Link
Christopher Pollitt

PART III: EMPIRICAL APPLICATIONS
14. What We Know So Far and How to Proceed: Contextual Variables in NPM Reform Research
Isabella Proeller

Third Link
Christopher Pollitt

15. Context in Governance Networks: Complex Interactions between Macro, Meso and Micro. A Theoretical Exploration and Some Empirical Evidence on the Impact of Context Factors in Taiwan, Spain and the Netherlands
Erik-Hans Klijn, Vicenta Sierra, Tamyko Ysa, Evan M. Berman, Jurian Edelenbos and Don-yun Chen

16. Seeing Context Where There’s No ‘There’ There: The EU/USA Financial Crises and the Missing State
Richard Stillman

17. The Context of Public Administration from a Neo-institutionalist Point of View: An Analysis with Finland as the Case
Pertti Ahonen

18. The Uses and Abuses of Historical Context: A Case Study in the ‘Mutualisation’ of Public Services
Johnston Birchall

19. Context and Accountability: Factors Shaping Performance Audit
Jeremy Lonsdale

20. The Role of Significance of Context in Comparing Country Systems
John Halligan

21. Hospitals and the Dynamics of Multiple Contexts
Christopher Pollitt

Fourth Link
Christopher Pollitt

PART IV: REFLECTIONS
22. Context: What Kind of Missing Link?
Christopher Pollitt

Index