The idea of policy is ripe for critical reappraisal. Whilst the context for policy making changes constantly, multiple questions endure, such as how policy is conceived and why; what is taken for granted and what gets problematised; and how policy should be informed, analysed and understood. This book identifies key topics within the policy arena and subjects them to theoretical and practical analysis. It explores the meaning and framing of policy, and examines its practice from the micro- to the supra-national levels, using illustrative case studies to demonstrate how policy is contested, shaped and accounted for. Given the significance of policy as a means to organise and direct social, economic and political life, this book presents the case for a critical restatement of its origins, development and form - without which we risk being caught up in a cycle of change without understanding why or how. The book presents a productive encounter between the three themes of meanings, politics and practices, themes normally not brought together in a single text. It emphasizes the multiplicity of perspectives that can be directed towards understanding the policy world, opening up new ground as well as visiting anew some familiar terrain. Targeted at upper undergraduate and postgraduate students and their teachers, it will also be of interest to researchers and policy actors wanting insight to their project.
Subjects: Political Science
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